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Layford Makene vs United Republic of Tanzania

On September 14th, 2017, Mr. Layford Makene, Applicant, filed before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court) an application of instituting proceedings against the United Republic of Tanzania for alleged violations of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in its articles 2 et 7(1)(c).

In the present case, the Applicant had been judged for committing rape and was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 24 strokes of the cane by the District Court of Kahama in 2006. He had appealed this judgment both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal of Tabora both which successively confirmed on November 4th, 2008 and June 29th, 2011 the undertaken judgment. At the time of the filing of the application before the Court in 2017, he was serving his sentence at the central prison in Uyui, Tabora. 

The Applicant alleges the violation of the article 2 of the Charter due to the way the Court of Appeal handled his appeal as well as article 7(1)(c) of the Charter due the fact that he was not offered legal assistance by a council before the national jurisdictions. 

On November 21st, 2019, the Republic of Tanzania deposited the instruments of withdrawal of the Court’s declaration of jurisdiction to receive applications from individuals and non-governmental organizations. In issuing its decision on December 2nd, 2021, the Court has been faithful to its consistent jurisprudence of dealing with all cases enrolled in the Registry before the date of entry into force of the withdrawal of the declaration.

Tanzania raised objections relating to the lack of jurisdiction of the Court and the inadmissibility of the application. After examining the pleas in law, the Court declared that it had jurisdiction to hear the case. With regard to admissibility, it examined in turn all the criteria listed in article 50 of the Rules of Court and concluded that the application had not been lodged within a reasonable time and was therefore not admissible.

Judgment of 02-12-2021

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.