The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Wednesday deduced that the absence of a culture of accountability and sanctions undermines the rule of law and enhances systemic corruption in Africa.
‘It is the supposition of the African Court that African Governments must combat corruption through the strengthening of the human rights culture and the rule of law.
‘On the one hand, it is the failure on the part of the states to respect their human rights obligations that encourages corruption when citizens are faced with the lack of medicines in hospitals and books in schools,’ Justice Sylvain Ore, African Court President stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
Justice Ore explained that studies undertaken under the auspices of the African Union have concluded that serious violations of economic and social rights in Africa were attributable to systemic corruption.
Expanding the impact of corruption on Women and the Girl-Child Welfare as the world marks the 2018 International Women’s Day; the African Court President said the AU has established range of values and principles, which defines it.
However, in more recent times, the impact of corruption on women and the girl-child has been particularly echoed in the theme adopted by the AU for the year 2018, which is ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path towards Africa’s Transformation’.
Justice Ore said from the Constitutive Act of the AU to Agenda 2063, issues of good governance, respect for human rights and observance of the rule of law have remained constant in the human development discourse in Africa.
‘In our Continent, discussions have gone beyond the cause and effect relation between corruption and under-development. Given that this situation has unequivocally taken root, Africa will always be at pains in taking the most effective measures to find a remedy,’ he said.
He said the African Continental Court in solidarity with the observation of the day, organised a public forum to reiterate the role that justice was expected to play in finding solutions to the challenges facing an Africa that was winning the war of under-development based on a more institutionalised battle against corruption.
The African Court Women’s Day forum conducted by distinguished women, among which were Judges from the Continental Court.
The African Court therefore used the platform to acknowledge especially the female Judges on the panel including Judge Solomy Bossa who had been elected to the post of Judge of the International Criminal Court.
Meanwhile the African Court has commended the media for its active role in the protection of human rights, which it adjudged as a collective responsibility, ‘whether we are Judges, Litigants, Applicants, Respondent States, Civil Society or friends of African human rights system.
‘The responsibility of an Africa that is respectful of human rights and endowed with a rule of law culture is incumbent on us all. Such responsibility behoves however in a very special way on civil society and media professionals.
‘One cannot think of life-changing human rights advocacy without an innovative involvement of civil society and the media,’ Justice Ore stated.
He however called on civil society and the media to continue to support the African Court after contributing successfully to its establishment.
‘Civil society and the media’s contribution to the development of the African Court’s relevant jurisprudence has unfortunately remained at its embryonic state,’ Justice Ore stated.
The African Court President noted and acknowledged the critical role that bears on civil society and the media in supporting submission of cases to the African Court.
He tasked civil society and the media to assist in disseminating the African Court’s judgments at the national level, and provide States with the assistance needed to effectively enforce the decisions.