The African Court Coalition organized a one hour discussion as a side event during the 53rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) with the theme; ‘Reflecting on the Current Developments at the African Court for Better Access to Justice in the Continent’. The event was held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on the 11 April 2013, in Banjul, The Gambia with about 70 participants attending.

During an interactive one hour discussion, human rights experts and judge from the Court reflected on a number of issues relating to the Court which included among others; handling of cases transferred by the Commission and the outcome of a request for an Advisory Opinion before the Court for a case similar to the one pending before the Commission.

The discussion was chaired by Mr Dzimbabwe Chimbga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights while Judge Sylvain Oré (Judge at African Court) and Professor Frans Viljoen (University of Pretoria, South Africa) were panellists.

Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights, in his presentation noted that the Court has not yet delivered its judgment in the first case it has heard on the merits - almost half a year after it had heard the case - and that this is a disappointment to both those seeking a result in the case, and many Africans expecting the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights to show that it is now fully functional and both a viable and effective supplement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.


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