Who We Are

The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court Coalition) is a network of non-governmental organisations and independent national human rights institutions which was formed during the first conference for the promotion of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Niamey, Niger in May 2003. 

The key purpose for its establishment is to have an effective and independent African Court in order to provide redress to victims of human rights violations and strengthen the human rights protection system in Africa. 

The Coalition was formally registered as an NGO in Tanzania in September 2007. Its main office is in Arusha, where the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is also based.

The Coalition has Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Background

The initiative began as a loose network with two secretariats housed at Alliances for Africa (Lagos) and the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (Johannesburg) in 2004. It comprised a Management Committee made up of representatives from nine NGOs, namely –

  • The Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (North Africa focal point)
  • Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (East Africa focal point)
  • Association pour les Droits de l’homme et l’univers Carcéral (Central Africa focal point)
  • Legal Assistance Centre (Southern Africa focal point);
  • The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS – AU Liaison)
  • Rencontre Africaine pour le Defense de Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) (West Africa focal point)
  • Open Society Justice Initiative (AU liaison)
  • Cape Verdean Association of Women Lawyers (Portuguese-speaking Africa advisor)
  • Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (focal point for National Human Rights Institutions). 
Vision, Mission & Objectives

Promote the ratification of texts relating to the African Court by all member states of the AU;

Promote the rights of individuals and organisations to refer matters directly to the African Court by encouraging states to make the declaration as stipulated in Article 34(6) of the protocol creating the African Court; and similar provisions in the single legal instrument establishing the African Court of Justice and Human Rights;

Advocate for an independent and credible African Court including a transparent process for the nomination and election of judges to the African Court, which guarantees an equitable representation of the African judicial systems and gender parity in the nomination and election of judges; and

Provide technical support for entities wishing to make use of the African Court to protect human and peoples’ rights.

Contribute to the strengthening of the human rights system.

The Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Coalition) envisages a continent where victims of human rights violations have access to justice.

The Coalition’s mission is to ensure that the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is effective, accessible and credible through training, education, information documentation and dissemination, research, advocacy, lobbying and networking.

The Coalition believes in access to justice for all, particularly individuals and an independent judicial body.

In light of the complimentary relationship between the African Commission on Human and Peoples’Rights (the African Commission) and the African Court, the Coalition aims to ensure that the African Commission is strengthened.