The establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples'
Rights is a landmark development in the field of international human
rights law. On June 9, 1998, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the
Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of
African Unity (OAU) adopted a Protocol to the African Charter on
Human and Peoples' Rights ("Protocol"). The Protocol, signed by thirty
of the fifty-two Member States of the OAU on the same day,
establishes an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights to
supplement the existing protections afforded by the African
Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.
The text of the Protocol was received with enthusiasm by
representatives of African governments attending the meeting and
euphoria by the sectors of civil society that have long pressed for, and
long awaited, its adoption. The Protocol, the product of the collective
efforts of civil society at the national, regional, and international levels,
opens the door to more effective human rights protection in the African
region. With its adoption, Africa joins the ranks of the European and
Inter-American regional human rights systems in providing judicial
guarantees at the regional level for the protection of human rights in
Udombana, Nsongurua J.
"Toward the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights: Better Late Than Never,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol3/iss1/2