Zimbabwe: human rights court for africa

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The Independent Online
African ministers of justice and attorneys-general agreed to establish a permanent African court on human rights, in hopes of improving individual rights and freedoms on the continent.

Under the proposal, Organisation of African Unity member-states and individual citizens who are victims of human rights abuses will be able to lodge complaints to the court against their own or other governments alleged to have violated the rights.

However, it wasn't clear from the document what decisions or judgments the court can pronounce upon those found to be violating human rights. The court will be based on the Charter of the African Human and Peoples' Rights, which is ratified by every member-state.

The proposal will be submitted to the next conference of OAU ministers, who will in turn submit nominations for the court's eight judges. Legal experts from the 53 OAU countries have met three times since 1995 to work out the recommendations and legal framework for the establishment of the court.