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Muigai: Kenya will support the African Court

18 July 2013, 08:22 Jackline Apondi

Nairobi - The Kenyan government has promised full commitment and support of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights(ACHPR) as required by the respective African Union Commission Protocol.

Speaking in Nairobi while launching the ACHPR sensitization seminar, Professor Githu Muigai,the Attorney General said the Court is the most preferable in dealing with judicial problems inhibiting the African continent and that Kenya is ready to comply and support the Court.
"Kenya is committed to support the Court and eager to see its citizens get direct access to and use the Court for protection of their rights," said Muigai.

"My Office will prepare communications to share with other members of the government in finalizing the process of making and depositing the ratified Article 34(6) of the Court's Protocol full membership declaration," added Muigai.

The AG said that from the start of the 21st century, the African continent has been struggling for good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights and that the ACHPR is the only solution in solving such problems through a lot of support to its judicial operations.

Muigai also said that although the Court is likely to face huge mechanism challenges emerging from diverse African judicial systems, their harmonization to meet the Court's requirements would be an appropriate solution to foster realization of respect to human rights.

Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo, the President of the ACHPR said that the sensitization seminar was to create awareness of the Court's existence to deal with African cases because it received only one case in its first four years of operation, and that the number received are yet encouraging.

"It is clearly known that courts don't go about soliciting for work but international Courts like the African Court are forced to do so because people and institutions to be served are not aware of their existence, roles and effectiveness," said Justice Akuffo.

She said that full participation and support from most of African countries would provide effective and consistent operations in its legal functions.

The ACHPR Court was established from Article 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights adopted in 1998 in Burkina Faso then came into force on January 2004. It officially began its operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2006 then moved to Arusha, Tanzania in 2007 after being provided with temporary premises.

Since the adoption of the Protocol in 1998, only 26 of the total of 54 African Union Member States have ratified to it, Kenya being one of the members.

The Court is composed of 11 Judges, nationals of AU Member States elected by the Assembly of Heads of the States and Government of AU for a period of six years after having proven high levels of integrity and of recognized practical judicial or academic competence, experience in human and peoples' rights field, and may be re-elected only once.

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