African Court deepens tie, signs MoU with human rights institutions

The African Court on Human & Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) and the Network of African Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Network of African Human Rights Institutions as a away of building a stronger relationship and enhance collaborative efforts in the protection of human rights on the continent.

The MOU is for a period of five (5) years from the date of signature, 3 June 2024 with an option for renewal.

The MoU was signed at the commencement of the 73rd Ordinary Session of the Court at its seat in Arusha, Tanzania.

While the President of the Court Hon Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud signed for the court, the Network’s Chairperson Advocate Joseph Whittal, who is also the Chairperson of Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, signed on behalf of the institutions.

Giving remarks at the ceremony, Hon Justice Aboud said the MoU responds to the Strategic Plan of the African Court (2021-2025) which provides for establishment of partnerships between the two institutions who serve the common objectives to enhance the protection of human and peoples’ rights, the rule of law and democratisation on the continent.

“This collaboration represents a crucial step forward in our shared mission to promote and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Africans. We both reaffirm our commitment to strengthening our relationship and the African human rights protection system,” she said.

“The MOU we are signing today brings us a step closer to realising the dreams we had in 2011, to build a strong relationship to enhance the protection of human rights on the continent”, she added.

NANHRI Chairperson Advocate Joseph Whittal in his speech noted that the MoU embodies the undeniable commitment by both organizations, to promoting and protecting human rights in Africa and beyond, providing space for purposeful and meaningful engagements in pursuit of common objectives.

He said, “This is the beginning of what we believe to be a long-term relationship in which we will learn with and from each other through collaborative engagements on issues of mutual interest. It is an opportunity to address shared concerns, identify common interests and foster greater understanding and to develop capacity to address the issues of global concern such as climate justice, deepening democracy and rule of law, as well as social inclusion and human development,” he said.

The MoU outlines a framework for collaboration between the two organisations which include advocacy for the ratification of the Court Protocol, advocacy for the deposit of the Declaration by State Parties to the Court Protocol, capacity building of the network on litigation procedures and jurisprudence of the Court and follow up on implementation of the decisions of the Court.

Both parties have also committed to leverage their strength to establish reciprocal opportunities for legal and other professionals from the African Court and NANHRI to undertake exchanges, and updates on each other’s activities.