Arusha, Tanzania
Website: www.african-court.org
Telephone: +255-27-970-430
PRESS RELEASE
JUDGMENT SUMMARY

2019, did not affect Applications like the present one which had been filed before the withdrawal took effect
on 22 November 2020.

The Court held that it had temporal jurisdiction because the alleged violations were continuous in nature;
and lastly, that it had territorial jurisdiction, given that the alleged violations occurred within the territory of
the Respondent State which is a Party to the Protocol. The Court thus held that it had jurisdiction to
examine the Application.

In terms of the admissibility of the Application, the Court, as empowered by Article 6 of the Protocol , had
to determine whether the requirements of admissibility, as provided under Article 56 of the Charter and
Rule 50 of the Rules of Court (“the Rules), had been met. In this connection, the Court first considered
two (2) objections raised by the Respondent State.
The first objection related to the Applicants’ failure to exhaust local remedies before filing the Application
as required by Article 56(5) of the Charter and Rule 50(2)(e) of the Rules of Court. On this point, the
Respondent State argued that the Applicant only raised one ground of appeal before the Court of Appeal
and thus did not fully utilise that remedy.
The Court dismissed the Respondent State’s contention noting that the Applicant, having seized the Court
of Appeal, the highest judicial organ of the Respondent State, had exhausted local remedies. The Court
noted that, the Respondent State thus had the opportunity to redress the alleged violations but failed to
do so.

The Respondent State also claimed that the Application was inadmissible because the Applicant took an
unreasonable time, that is, five (5) years and six (6) months to bring his claim to the Court. The Court
dismissed this objection on the grounds that the Applicant was on death-row, restricted in movement, with
limited access to information, and had twice sought a review of his conviction and sentence. The Court
noted that, owing to the applications for review filed by the Applicant, the time taken to seize the Court
would no longer be considered to be five (5) years and six (6) months, but rather seven (7) months and
five (5) days and that this time was reasonable. The Court was also satisfied that the record showed that
all other conditions of admissibility as set out in Article 56 of the Charter and Rule 50(2) of the Rules had
been complied with and declared the Application admissible.
The Court then considered whether the Respondent State violated the Applicants’ rights under Articles
7(1) and 7(1)(c) of the Charter by examining three issues.

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