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African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X

Abstract

MAKUNYA, Trésor Muhindo. Decisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights during 2020: Trends and lessons. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2021, vol.21, n.2, pp.1230-1264. ISSN 1996-2096.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1996-2096/2021/v21n2a49.

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights has made considerable progress in its jurisprudential activities in the year 2020. Between January and December 2020 the African Court delivered 55 decisions and received 40 new cases and one request for an advisory opinion. The swift response the African Court adopted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in holding three out of four sessions virtually has enabled the Court to reduce the backlog of cases. This article examines the main features of decisions the African Court adopted in 2020. It analyses trends emerging from them and draws possible lessons. The Court's 2020 decisions give an opportunity to critically review the jurisprudential direction of the Court, the number and types of decisions rendered, the quality of the protection of human and peoples' rights it offered as well as its normative contribution to the human rights corpus. While the Court has boldly and uncompromisingly asserted its authority over sensitive domestic issues - prompting four states so far to withdraw their declarations allowing individuals and non-governmental organisations to approach it directly - the Court's 2020 decisions persuasively demonstrate that it has not shied away from its mandate to hold states and their organs to the obligations to which they have committed under international human rights law.

Keywords : African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights; fair trial; provisional measures; judgment in default; separate opinion; Rules of the Court; Court Protocol; article 34(6) declaration; African Commission.

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