Main Article Content
The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) as the human rights judicial body in the continent of Africa was adopted in 1998. The establishment of the African court was expedited by the legal and political developments in the continent. The enactment of the Constitutive Act 2002 was significantly lifeblood to the protection of the human rights principles set out in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. The objective of the Act is, inter alia, to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the Charter and other relevant human rights instruments. This study is aimed at identifying the impediments that have imperiled the success of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, and to discuss the prospects of the court in protecting human and people’s rights across the continent of Africa. The doctrinal methodology was adopted in realizing the set purpose of this work. It was found that the jurisdiction of the court is confined to States Parties to the African Charter. The concept of extra-territorial jurisdiction has not been institutionalized in the enforcement of human rights in Africa. It therefore does not fall within the competence of the court to impose a treaty obligation on any non-state party. Again, individuals and non-governmental organization (NGO’s) suffer great restraint in seeking the enforcement of human and people’s rights as they lack direct recourse to the court. It is therefore recommended that the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Constitutive Act of the African Union should be amended to incorporate the principle of extra-territorial jurisdiction to facilitate the enforcement of human and people’s rights across the continent without let or hindrance. Accordingly, section 34(6) of the Protocol on the African Court of Human and People’s Rights should be amended to relax the condition that a State Party against whom the complaint of human rights violation is brought must have declared its commitment to the protocol to allow the invocation of the individual recourse system. The emergence of the protocol to the African Charter was a sweep development leading to the establishment of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. The purpose of establishing the court is to facilitate the enforcement of human and people’s rights in Africa. Therefore, concerted effort should be taken expunge the impediments to the realization of human rights in Africa.
Keywords: Human, Rights, Court, Enforcement, Extra-territorial and Jurisdiction