The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) is to equip 40 lawyers on ‘legal grounds for representing Indigent applicants before the Court.’

Justice Sylvain Oré, President of the African Court in a statement on Wednesday explained that the August 3 to 5 training is aimed at familiarising the lawyers with the Court’s judicial and operational aspects and would also update them on the legal aid scheme.

He said ‘this is the first time such a training is conducted,’ adding that ‘at the end of the training, the lawyers would have been equipped with requisite skills in order to represent indigent applicants effectively.

Currently, 61 counsels from 25 countries have registered with the Court to represent indigent applicants.

The countries are; Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo (DRC), Dutch / French, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The African Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a view to enhancing the protection of human rights on the continent.

By mid-July 2017, the Court had received 147 Applications, disposed of 31, while 112 are pending with four transferred to the Banjul Commission.

Of the 147 Applications received, 134 were from individuals, 10 from NGOs and three from the Banjul Commission.

The African Court received 12 requests for advisory opinions of which five are pending, with seven of them finalised.

Three requests had been made for review and have been finalised and three requests for interpretation of judgment, one of which has been finalised while two are pending.

To date, the Court has issued eight judgments on merits, in which it has found State Parties in violation of various articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter).

It has also issued judgments/ rulings on reparations and issued orders for provisional measures in at least 20 cases.

Three requests for Review have been received and all them have been finalised while three were received on interpretation of judgment with one finalised and two pending.

GNA