Civil society has formulated a declaration calling for governments to reject immunity for sitting leaders before the expanded African Court on Justice and Human Rights. This declaration came in response to the highly criticized decision of African leaders, at the recent AU Summit in Malabo, where the proposal to grant immunity to sitting heads of State and senior government officials in the African Court of Justice and Human Rights as part of the Court’s expansion was approved.
The declaration was written by the Malawi Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation with input from several other African civil society organizations and international organizations with a presence in Africa. The declaration has been endorsed by 143 organizations who have a presence in 40 African countries. The widespread support for this declaration is testament to civil society’s very strong conviction that immunity for sitting leaders in regard to serious crimes committed and violations of international law should be opposed. Such immunity is retrogressive, undermines progress to combat impunity for atrocities, and is contrary to the African Union’s rejection of impunity in its Constitutive Act.
Please find the Declaration below.