Briefing Paper on the new Procedural Framework for the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is an independent institution of the African Union mandated to promote, protect, and respect human and peoples’ rights on the continent.

As part of its protection mandate, the Commission considers communications alleging human rights abuses against State Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) and delivers decisions, including compensations for victims. These communications describe the alleged human rights violations and request the intervention of the Commission. Communications emanate from State Parties, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and/or groups of individuals.

Recently, the Commission introduced a new set of rules and practice directives covering the submission of communications to the Commission and the use of a new online/standardized Complaints Form. The rules also explain the limited application of the Commission’s previous rules to communications that had been submitted or finalized prior to the introduction of these new rules. Accordingly, the Commission operates on a parallel procedural framework consisting of both the previous and new rules, which are applicable in different circumstances.

To support the understanding of the parallel framework as well as other changes to the Commission’s procedures, this briefing paper presents an overview of the new communications procedure for the benefit of non-governmental organizations, individuals, and/or groups of individuals interested in submitting communications to the Commission.

Read the briefing paper here.