Glory Hossou et Landry Adelakoun vs Republic of Benin
On May 7th, 2020, Mr. Hossou and Mr. Adelajoun, Applicants, filed before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights an application instituting proceedings against the Republic of Benin for alleged violations of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) as well as international norms of Human Rights.
They maintain that the withdrawal by Benin of the Declaration allowing individuals and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to file applications before the African Court is in violation of certain international instruments such as the Vienna Convention and principles of international law.
They also filed a request for the indication of provisional measures, asking the Court to “revoke
Benin’s decision to withdraw the Declaration deposited under Article 34(6) of the
Protocol, pending the determination of the principal Application by the Court”.
The Court ruled on this question in an order dated September 25th, 2020. It first ascertained that it had prima facie to hear the case according to article 3(1) of the Protocol of the Court:
- Benin is a party to the Charter and Protocol of the Court and has deposited the declaration allowing individuals and NGOs to file application with the Court. However, the country deposited the instruments of withdrawal of this Declaration on March 25, 2020. The Court has applied its settled case-law according to which which withdrawal has no retroactive effect on cases pending before the Court;
- The alleged violations deal with rights that are protected by international instruments to which the defendant State is a member.
The Court concludes that it has prima facie jurisdiction to hear this case and that the matter is admissible.
With regards to the provisional measures requested, the Court concludes that the conditions of extreme gravity and urgency likely to cause irreparable harm to the Applicant that are necessary to order provisional measures were not met. It therefore rejected the request.
The Court ruled on the merits of the case in its judgment of December 2nd, 2021. Benin raised objections relating to the lack of jurisdiction of the Court and the inadmissibility of the application. The Court agreed with Benin that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties did not apply in the present case in so far as the Declaration of authorisation was a unilateral act, demonstrating State sovereignty. Moreover, it is an internationally agreed principle that States could choose to become members of leave any international institution as long as they complied with the rules relevant to each instrument.
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.