On November 27, 2020, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights delivered five judgments involving Benin, Ghana, Mali, and Rwanda. Each of the judgments are now available on the Court’s website.
The case of Akwasi Boateng and Others v. Republic of Ghana involved the alleged confiscation by force of lands belonging to the Applicants, following a boundary dispute between the Twifo Hemang Community and the Morkwa Community, but was dismissed after a finding that the Court lacked temporal jurisdiction to consider the Application.
In Léon Mugesera v. Republic of Rwanda the Applicant alleged a violation of his human rights during the course of a legal procedure before the High Court Chamber for International Crimes and the Supreme Court of Rwanda, specifically in relation to his detention under "deplorable" conditions. Though the Court did not hold the state liable for a number of allegations, it found unanimously that the state violated Articles 4 (right to life), 5 (prohibition of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment), and 18(1) (right to family).
Collectif des Anciens Travailleurs de la Semico Tabakoto v. Republic of Mali involves a complaint by a group of Mali nationals working for a mining company who allege that a high level of lead contamination in their blood is the direct result of their employment in the mining company. The Court was asked to rule on jurisdiction and admissibility and held that it has jurisdiction, but that the action is inadmissible because the Applicants’ representative is not authorized to represent them.
XYZ v. Republic of Benin involved a challenge to “the independence and impartiality of electoral bodies as well as the composition of the National Assembly” of Benin. Though the Court found against the Applicant on a number of issues, it found a violation by the state of “the right of citizens to participate freely in the government of their country” under Article 13(1) of the Rights Charter, “since the composition of the [Guidance and Supervision Council of the Permanent Computerised Electoral List] does not provide guarantees of independence and impartiality as required” under Article 17(1) of African Charter on Elections and Democracy (ACDEG) and Article 3 of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy.
The final judgment, also called XYZ v. Republic of Benin, involved a challenge to Law No. 2019-40 of November 1, 2020, revising Law No. 90-032 of December 11, 1990 on the Constitution of the Republic of Benin. The Applicant claimed the revised law violated his fundamental rights. Specifically, he alleged that the law was “adopted in secret, without the involvement of all sections of the Beninese society” and that it was therefore “adopted outside the rules of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” The Court held that the state violated: (1) the obligation to guarantee the independence of courts under Article 26 of the Charter; (2) the obligation under Article 10(2) ACDEG to ensure that the process of amendment or revision of its constitution is based on national consensus; (3) the right to information in Article 9(1) of the Charter; and (4)the right to peace and the right to economic, social, and cultural development under Articles 22(1) and 23(1) of the Charter.