On 9 June 1998, African States meeting in Burkina Faso created the African Court by adopting the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004 after it was ratified by more than 15 countries.
It took a few years before the African Court became fully functional. The African Court is based in Arusha, Tanzania and is composed of 11 judges from all over the continent. The first judges were appointed in 2006 and the Court was finally able to receive its first complaints in 2010.
The Court’s mission is to protect, promote and defend human rights enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the main human rights instrument on the African continent. It does so by interpreting the provisions of the Charter and by judging African States which have allegedly violated these rights.