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General News of Saturday, 31 August 2019


African Court begins 54th ordinary session

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right will begin its 54th Ordinary Session on Monday, from September 2 to 27, to examine over 15 applications and at least six judgments are expected to be rendered.

The African Court is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity and meets four times a year in Ordinary Sessions and may hold Extra-Ordinary Sessions.

Justice Sylvian Ore, the African Court President, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Saturday that the Session is also expected to review the preparations for the Fourth African Judicial Dialogue slated for October 30 to 1 November 2019.

It would be held under the theme: ‘’Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa’’.

He said the Judicial Dialogue brings together the Chief Justices and the Presidents of Constitutional Courts of the AU Member States.

The Judges will also discuss the progress on the First International Court Forum on Human Rights to be held from 4 to 5 November in Zanzibar. The Forum will involve the Judges of the African Court, the Inter-American Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

Justice Ore reminded the judicial community in Africa, that the importance of justice in achieving stable societies can never be downplayed to a mere slogan.

“Timely justice that is administered without fear or favour has become a shared value across democratic societies, nations, regions and cultures; however, the globalization of minimum core values of the right to justice has taken an inversely proportional slow course.

“This state of affairs has left connections between courts at all levels loose, random, minimal or even inexistent to the paradoxical disadvantage of rights-holders who are the beneficiaries of our mandate,” Justice Ore told the GNA.

The African Court President noted that one challenge in giving life and flesh to justice as a breeding ground for political stability and socio-economic development is not so much the limited appreciation of that undisputable fact among the relevant stakeholders.

“It is rather that, for far too long, the frontline actors of our justice systems have insufficiently comprehended that, a key prerequisite for successfully providing justice as a fundamental human rights is systematic and constant communication between administrators of justice whether national, sub-regional, continental or international,” he stated.

The African Court President said the Continental Judicial Dialogue has, however, renewed hopes in the sense that it has created a platform for judicial actors to open their “problem-box”.

“I am glad to note that such courageous endeavour has led to the opening two most promising avenues for strengthening judicial interconnections in Africa.

“First, a project aiming at building convergence in judicial knowledge – sharing across the continent is now being conceived; and second, we have set the tone towards matching our ambitions with the order of the day by placing technology at the heart of quality justice delivery,” the African Continental Court President stated.

The Judicial Dialogue is a biennial event, institutionalised by the African Union. This is the first time that the event will be hosted outside the Seat of the African Court.

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