Laurent Munyandilikirwa vs Republic of Rwanda
On September 23rd, 2015, Mr. Laurent Munyandilikirwa, a Rwandan citizen, filed before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court) an application instituting proceedings against the Republic of Rwanda for alleged violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in its articles 1,2,3,7,9,10, 11, 15 and 26.
In the present case, Mr. Munyandilikirwa is an attorney at law specialised in Human Rights and president of the Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR) from December 2011 to July 2013. He contends that following an unlawful meeting convened by the Board, both himself and his administration were “unlawfully” removed from office. This decision was approved by the Rwandan Governance Board (RGB), the public body in charge of supervising organisations from the civil society. The outgoing administration filed a complaint before the LIPRODHOR’s internal dispute resolution organ with regards to the whole procedure. The organ ruled in their favour on July 23rd, 2013. This decision was notified to the RGB which stated that the newly elected board was the management body of LIPRODHOR.
M. Munyandilikirwa and other members of his administration seized the Court of first instance of Nyarugenge with an action against the “illegitimate and unlawfully” elected board and asked for provisional measures. This complaint was rejected on August 8th, 2014 on a technicality, ruling that the complaint should have been against the LIPRODHOR and not certain members of its board. On February 24th, 2015, the Applicant filed an appeal before the Kigali High Court. The latter confirmed the contested judgment on March 23rd, 2015 on other grounds. The Applicant also states that he has received numerous death threats and intimidations and decided to leave the country to protect himself and his family.
On February 29th, 2016, the Republic of Rwanda 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.
Rwanda did not wish to continue to participate to the proceedings and the Applicant requested the Court to take a judgment in default pursuant to article 63(1) of the Rules of the Court. After a careful examination of all of the arguments, the Court declared it had jurisdiction to hear the case. As far as the admissibility of the request, 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.
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.