The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) litigates very actively in African International Courts and Tribunals, and to engage in this litigation jointly with additional actors from Lawyers’ Associations and Civil Society Organisations.

Ronald Sseembuusi vs. Attorney General of Uganda (East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Reference No. 16 of 2014)

Revision of the Amicus Brief: Compiling, photocopying and binding the Brief; filing the Brief at the EACJ; serving the copy to the Applicant and the Respondent; engaging the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Media Council of Tanzania and Others vs. Attorney General of Tanzania (EACJ Application No. 5 of 2019)

Appearing as Co-Counsels before the EACJ Appellate Division for the Scheduling Conference; assisting in deliberation on the issues in dispute during the scheduling conference; assisting in drafting and revision of submissions.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Centre (RFK) and Others vs. Centre for Strategic Litigation and Others (EACJ Application No. 21 of 2018, Arising from Reference No. 9 of 2018)

The Reference challenges the online content regulations in Tanzania. PALU has conducted online meetings with RFK, particularly, on enhancing the pleadings for the Application to be joined as Amicus Curiae in Reference No. 9 of 2018.

Charles Kajoloweka vs Republic of Malawi (African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) Application No. 055 of 2019)

PALU filed an Application on behalf of Charles Kajoloweka (a renowned, Malawian Human Rights Activist). Mr. Kajoloweka filed a public interest case seeking a judicial review before the Courts in Malawi; the judicial review was dismissed before it was heard by the Supreme Court of Malawi with the Government being awarded punitive costs in the process. The huge amount meted on Mr. Kajoloweka was in effect similar to the imposition of a gag order, ultimately, imposing unacceptable limitations on the right to be heard and freedom of expression of the litigant which are necessary in a democratic society. The AfCHPR granted Interim Orders staying the enforcement of punitive orders of costs; the Interim Orders stop implementation of Costs Orders against Mr. Kajoloweka.

Bernard Anbataayela Mornah vs Benin & 7 Others (the Western Sahara case) (AfCHPR Application No. 28 of 2018)

By a letter dated 23rd April 2020 (and received on 27th April 2020), AfCHPR has requested PALU to file an Amicus Curiae Brief in a new Case concerning the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Applicant, a political leader from Benin, represented by Nigerian Human Rights Lawyer (Femi Falana San) sued eight African States that have made the Art. 34(6) Declaration, for their failure to protect the people of Western Sahara from aggression and multiple violations by the Kingdom of Morocco. This is the first time the Sahrawi issue has come up before AfCHPR, and the case is certainly significant.

Request for Advisory Opinion No. 1 of 2020: In the Matter of a Request for an Advisory Opinion by PALU on effective guarantees for the right to participate in the governance of one’s country during the pendency of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa.

On 2nd June 2020, we filed a new Application that asked the AfCHPR to exercise its advisory jurisdiction to spell out the rules and standards that should govern elections around Africa held in the shadow of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Request asks the Court to interpret relevant provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The Request follows the growing recognition that COVID-19 will have far reaching effects on elections in Africa and also on the legitimacy of government. In response to the pandemic, many countries have postponed elections and processes associated with them. Some others have held different forms of elections during the Pandemic.

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