The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote and consolidate the gains of human rights protection on the continent.
The MoU mandates the Parties to undertake all joint actions aimed at improving the implementation of their specific directives as provided in their respective constitutive instruments.
Justice Sylvain Ore, President of the African Court, told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview after the signing ceremony in Arusha, Tanzania, that the Continental Court and the Sub-regional Court shall consult with a view to coordinate and harmonize their activities and programmes on matters of common interest.
He said the Parties may establish a Joint Committee charged with the institutionalization of consultations and ensure the effectiveness of their cooperation, as well as endeavour, as far as is appropriate within its own framework, to respond favourably to requests for co-operation in accordance with the MoU.
The MoU was signed by Justice Ore on behalf of the African Court and Justice Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, President of the East African Court of Justice and witness by Judges and Administrative Officials from both Courts.
The African Court President explained that under the terms of the MoU, the African Court and the EACJ shall undertake to invite each other to attend and to send observers to meetings, other than Ordinary Sessions, to which observers were admitted.
He said subject to arrangements which may be required to preserve the confidentiality or restricted nature of certain information and documents, the Parties shall undertake to exchange information on matters of common interest and, in particular, each Party shall undertake to regularly inform the other of the priority areas for co-operation as identified by their respective organs.
Justice Ore said, the Parties may disseminate the knowledge gained from the implementation of the MoU to all beneficiaries, as necessary and "this is our vocation as lawyers, to create possibilities of synergy, complementarity, sharing of experiences, in particular, on the development of jurisprudence towards a better protection of human rights on the continent.
"We have not forgotten, in this regard, the sharing of information and experiences on case management and the application of international law, in particular preliminary references and requests for advisory opinions from Member States and the execution of judgments rendered by our Courts".