PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES` RIGHTS ON THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES` RIGHTS
The Member States of the Organization of African Unity hereinafter referred to as the OAU, States Parties to the
African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights.
Considering that the Charter of the Organization of African Unity recognizes that freedom, equality, justice,
peace and dignity are essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African
Peoples;
Noting that the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights reaffirms adherence to the principles of Human
and Peoples` Rights, freedoms and duties contained in the declarations, conventions and other instruments
adopted by the Organization of African Unity, and other international organizations;
Recognizing that the twofold objective of the African Commission on Human and Peoples` Rights is to ensure
on the one hand promotion and on the other protection of Human and Peoples` Rights, freedom and duties;
Recognizing further the efforts of the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights in the promotion and
protection of Human and Peoples` Rights since its inception in 1987;
Recalling resolution AHGéRes.230 (XXX) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in June
1994 in Tunis, Tunisia, requesting the Secretary-General to convene a Government experts` meeting to ponder,
in conjunction with the African Commission, over the means to enhance the efficiency of the African
commission and to consider in particular the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples` Rights;
Noting the first and second Government legal experts` meeting held respectively in Cape Town, South Africa
(September, 1995) and Nouakchott, Mauritania (April 1997), and the third Government Legal Experts meeting
held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (December, 1997), which was enlarged to include Diplomats;
Firmly convinced that the attainment of the objectives of the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights
requires the establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples` Rights to complement and reinforce the
functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples` Rights.
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
Article 1 ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COURT
There shall be established within the Organization of African Unity an African Court Human and Peoples`
Rights hereinafter referred to as “the Court”, the organization, jurisdiction and functioning of which shall be
governed by the present Protocol.
Article 2 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COURT AND THE COMMISSION
The Court shall, bearing in mind the provisions of this Protocol, complement the protective mandate of the
African Commission on Human and Peoples` Rights hereinafter referred to as “the Commission”, conferred
upon it by the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights, hereinafter referred to as “the Charter”.
Article 3 JURISDICTION
1. The jurisdiction of the Court shall extend to all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation
and application of the Charter, this Protocol and any other relevant Human Rights instrument ratified by the
States concerned.
2. In the event of a dispute as to whether the Court has jurisdiction, the Court shall decide.
Article 4 ADVISORY OPINIONS
1. At the request of a Member State of the OAU, the OAU, any of its organs, or any African organization
recognized by the OAU, the Court may provide an opinion on any legal matter relating to the Charter or any
other relevant human rights instruments, provided that the subject matter of the opinion is not related to a matter
being examined by the Commission.

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