Seven years in business: Evaluating developments at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights - p 317.
This article provides an early evaluation of the work of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the first seven years of its existence. It interrogates developments at the Court within this period in terms of how the Court has approached its mandate. The article makes clear that the setting up of the Court was not without challenges that related to its effective operationalisation after the Protocol establishing it entered into force. The article finds that the Court’s early budgetary situation appears reasonable, presumably due to the current low workload of the Court and it is hoped that it will be sustained as the workload of the Court increases. The article further finds that the low workload could be attributed to the lack of individual access to the Court as a result of the failure of many States parties to deposit the required declaration under the Court’s Protocol to allow individuals to bring cases. The article concludes that despite its slow start, the Court has come to stay, after a long and elusive history to establish an effective human rights mechanism that would ensure the protection of the human rights of Africans. In this regard, the Court’s recent judgements in the Mtikila and Mkandawire cases against Tanzania and Malawi, respectively, and the very important ruling in the Zongo case against Burkina Faso, clearly demonstrate the potential of the Court.