A zero-sum game? Rwanda withdraws and Benin allows individual access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights


The hearing at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the case of Victoire Ingabire this morning unexpectedly led to the disclosure of Rwanda’s withdrawal of the instrument allowing individuals and NGOs to directly file cases against it with the Court.

Individuals and NGOs can directly file cases against countries who have made the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Benin deposited its 34(6) declaration only last month, on 8 February, which brought the total number of States allowing for direct access to eight. However, with Rwanda’s withdrawal of the declaration, the number might now be back down to seven.

Rwanda has not yet made a formal statement as to the motives of the withdrawal, nor is it known at this stage by which means…

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