Ms. Grace Wakio Kakai, a Kenyan, was sworn in in Arusha, Tanzania as the new Deputy Registrar of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Ms. Kakai officially assumed her duties on October 1, 2022, but in accordance with the spirit of the African Union (AU) Staff Regulations and Rules, and in accordance with Rules 19(2) of the Rules of Court , was sworn in at the 67th Ordinary Session of the African Court.
“Upon taking office, the Deputy Registrar will take a similar oath or make a similar declaration before the African Court,” said Judge Imani Daud Aboud, President of the African Court.
Ms. Kakai replaces Mr. Nouhou Diallo, a citizen of Burkina Faso, who has retired.
Before being appointed to the position, the new Deputy Registrar served as Head of the Legal Division of the African Court.
The 67th Ordinary Session which began on Monday, November 7, is expected to end on Friday, December 2, according to a statement obtained by the Ghana News Agency on Tema.
“We return to Arusha, for another ordinary session of our Court. Our quarterly meetings have become a ritual that we have chosen to honor by taking the oath to serve the continent.
“But as I said at the last session of the court, we must ask ourselves what have been our contributions in fulfilling the mandate of the African Court: what has been the impact of our activities over the last 16 years?
“How do the people we were chosen to serve see us? How many decisions do we make in each session? These are some of the questions that should exercise our minds every time we meet,” said Lady Justice Aboud.
She said the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during a retreat recently agreed to adopt a roadmap that will guide their relationship going forward.
“As you all know, we are committed to the letter and spirit of complementarity and I was glad that even those colleagues who couldn’t be there physically found time to join us virtually.
“We have scheduled the complementarity roadmap for consideration and formal adoption at this session, so that we can begin implementation on our end,” he said.
The president of the African Court said that human rights bodies would continue to work with the Banjul Commission to see how to improve complementarity.
“As we all know, the African Court was established to complement the protection mandate of the Commission.
“To the extent that both the African Court and the Banjul Commission have the primary mandate to oversee the implementation and application of the Charter, the lack of a viable understanding of complementarity undermines the outcome of the two institutions,” he said.
The president of the African Court also revealed that an awareness-raising visit to Ethiopia, in an attempt to get the latter to ratify the Protocol and deposit the Declaration, has yielded a positive result.
“We did not come back to Arusha with a ratification, but I can assure you it is loading. We had very fruitful and promising discussions with key stakeholders who were very hopeful that the country would ratify sooner rather than later,” he said.
He also informed the chamber that the African Court and the Ethiopian Supreme Court signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is the first with a national judiciary.