LAWYERS attending a training session at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) here have been called upon to become a link between it and nations that are the origin of legal issues and alleged human rights violations in Africa.
In his opening address to the second training seminar for counsel on the roster of the African Court, the AfCHPR President, Justice Sylvain Ore, said the lawyers would be representing indigent applicants that have not been able to find remedy or satisfaction at countries’ levels.
“This seminar must be considered as a link to being established between the court and nations ... on the one hand, you will be required to help the litigants that you are, to acquire the necessary knowhow to effectively assist the court in its mission of administration of justice; on the other, become counsel on the court’s roster and be quite conversant with practice before the court that will undoubtedly make you spokespersons of African human rights law in your national judicial systems,” said the president.
Justice Ore said that from now, the trainees who are counsel would be the pioneers of a new generation of human rights defenders because henceforth, it would be incumbent on them to promote the training of as many counsel as possible on the continent who would become the limelight of procedure and the law before the African court.
“In Africa, where the absence of equitable justice is quite often the source of conflict and serious and massive violation of human rights, the right to benefit from counsel pursuant to the practice of the African Court should no longer be compromised.
“Between failure to abide by rules that extend litigation unnecessarily and insufficient reference to the jurisprudence of the court in the drafting of subsequent judgments, I call on you to carry out not just a review but an in-depth discussion on the practice of the court,” the justice remarked.