How to Use the CLA
Our wish is to make this CLA user-friendly and interactive to meet the satisfaction of users.
From the home page, you can navigate directly into the CLA through the top menu bar.
The tab ‘Database’ is developed as the main port of call for intensive search on cases in the CLA. When you click on ‘Database’, it takes you directly to all cases in the CLA. On the right side of the screen, you also see the option to narrow down search by legal instrument, treaty body/mechanism, document type, keyword, country, legal provision (article) evoked and outcome. It also gives you the option to search document by name and by full text.
The tab ‘HR Mechanisms’ is developed as one of the main ports for intensive search on cases in the CLA. When you click on ‘HR Mechanisms, this gives you an outline of relevant human rights mechanisms within the African Human Rights System. Clicking on any of the mechanisms presents you with cards of all decisions tagged to the selected mechanism. To further explore the cases, the procedures described under “Document/Case Cards” below are applicable.
By ‘Document name’
This option permits you to search a case using part of or the full name (or title) of the case as identified in the CLA. It demands therefore that the user should already know (or have an idea) of the name or title given to the said case in the CLA.
By ‘Full text search”
This option allows the user to search for all decisions containing a particular word or phrase in the CLA. NB: Just below the search bar, you will find ‘search tips’ in blue. Clicking on this provides more tips to help your search experience.
Document / Case Cards
Also, under ‘Database’, you have the option to navigate a list of cases. Every case card gives you further information on: document type (e.g. judgement, dissenting opinion), major keywords pertaining to the case, country concerned, outcome (e.g. decided on merits or ruled inadmissible), date the case was decided and the regional mechanism where the case was decided. You will find “VIEW” on the lower right-hand side of the case card, which leads you to the full document.
After you select a single case, you will get a side page summary with the background information about that case: country, date, document type, mechanism, keywords, outcome, legal provisions (articles) evoked, downloadable PDF document(s) showing the language (s) in which they are available on this CLA and “VIEW” on the lower left-hand side which leads you to the full document.
Hyperlinking of texts
Texts in documents are coded in such a way that articles and cases from major regional and international human rights instruments and mechanisms referred to in the decision are hyperlinked, appearing in yellowish background, for ease of search. When you click on any link, it gives you further information as text that pops up to the right of your screen.
Table of contents
At the top-right of the page, you will see an icon which allows you to view the table of contents, allowing you to view a particular section/part of the selected document.
By the filter ‘Legal Instruments’, you will find a dropdown arrow. Clicking on this gives you information on relevant legal instruments within the African Human Rights system available on this CLA, grouped according to their issuing mechanisms. When you click on any of these groups, all instruments pertaining to the given mechanism will appear as cards to the left side of your screen. To further explore the given legal instrument, the procedures described under “Document/Case Cards” above are applicable. NB: If you click on the box against ‘Legal Instruments’, you will be presented with all instruments available on this CLA.
By the filter ‘Treaty Bodies’, you will find a dropdown arrow. Clicking on this gives you an outline of relevant human rights mechanisms within the African Human Rights System. Clicking on any of the mechanisms presents you with cards of all decisions tagged to the selected mechanism on the left side of the page. To further explore the cases, the procedures described under “Document/Case Cards” above are applicable. In addition to features that mentioned under ‘Database” above, the selection of any treaty body allows you to also narrow down search to decisions passed by the selected mechanisms during a specific timeframe. NB: If you click on the box close against ‘Treaty Bodies’, you will be presented with all decisions available on this CLA, irrespective of the treaty body.
‘Keywords’ takes you first to a list of most used keywords we have identified in cases obtained from the various African human rights mechanisms. When you click on any given keyword, it presents you with cards of cases tagged to the keyword. More than one keyword can be selected during a search. To further explore cases, the procedures described under “Document/Case Cards” above are applicable.
This is a list of countries and non-State entities (such as regional institutions) that have suits against them in decisions found on this CLA. More than one ‘country’ can be selected at a time. Clicking on any country/entity on this list allows you to see cards of decisions pertaining to the selected country/entity. To further explore cases, the procedures described under “Document/Case Cards” above are applicable.
NB: Overall, you can use two or more filter items together.