African Court: African leaders reaffirm their commitment to justice

Madam Justice Imani D. Aboud, President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, revealed that recent developments in Africa’s socio-political and legal landscape unequivocally demand that African leaders reaffirm their commitment to favor of justice.

“Whether it is terrorism, armed conflict, famine, political violence, underdevelopment or poverty, justice continues to be the agreed solution.

“In fact, and as Agenda 2063 clearly recognizes, the government’s goal is human development through social justice. It cannot therefore be denied that judges and courts have a role to play in achieving justice for development, whether by upholding political, socio-economic or developmental rights,” said Justice Aboud .

Lady Justice Aboud said during the judicial dialogue organized by the African Court, for the three regional courts of the African Court, the East African Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Tanzania.

The President of the African Court explained that the way for African governments to reaffirm their commitments to justice was through the sharing of legal and judicial knowledge.

“In other words, to best administer justice on legal issues that are becoming increasingly global but with national application, we judge, and the courts must engage in a coherent exchange of legal and judicial solutions.

“As regional courts, our role is to harmonize and unify the national application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“It is an imperative to best solve problems that are international or foreign in nature, but which increasingly land in African countries and communities through globalization.”

Lady Justice Aboud said: “I name terrorism and its socio-political and economic consequences, but I also name pandemics, technology, social media; and more structural issues such as free and fair elections, governance and state cooperation with international human rights courts and tribunals.

On the objective of judicial dialogue, the President of the African Court said that judicial dialogue has become an essential tool for achieving justice in an increasingly globalized world.

“The purpose and achievements of judicial dialogue are now established and undeniable. However, a double question remains topical and topical: how to engage in judicial dialogue and what to dialogue about?

“There is no doubt that judicial dialogue has long been part of the practice of domestic courts through case law borrowings”,

She said that judicial dialogue has also been shaped regionally in Africa, and we are all now very involved and participating in the decade-old African judicial dialogue which is established as a tradition that we carry out every two years at the both vertically and horizontal views.

Lady Justice Aboud recounted that the November 2021 gathering, in Dar es Salaam, provided an opportunity for judges to celebrate a decade of continental judicial dialogue in Africa.

She said the Dar dialogue had sparked bold, provocative and thought-provoking debates about how technology had invaded public discourse and therefore demanded an adjustment to judicial dialogue and the administration of justice.

“We also had the opportunity to reaffirm some of the commitments made 10 years ago in Arusha; commitments to fundamental principles of constitutional democracy such as the rule of law, judicial independence, separation of powers and the protection of fundamental rights,” said the President of the African Court.

Elna M. Lemons