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Sadick Marwa Kisase vs United Republic of Tanzania

On January 13th, 2016, Mr. Sadick Marwa Kisase, Applicant, filed an application instituting proceedings before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court) against the United Republic of Tanzania for alleged violations of the African Charter of the Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in its articles 3(2) et 7(1).

In the present case, Mr. Kisase, a Tanzanian citizen, was serving a 30 year sentence after having been found guilty of armed robbery by the District Court of Ngara. The Applicant appealed this decision before the Bukoba High Court and the Court of Appeal of Tanzania. Both jurisdictions confirmed the undertaken judgment. At the time of the filing of he application, Mr. Kisase was awaiting the decision on the request for review of the judgment pending before the Court of Appeal of Tanzania.

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.

As a preliminary point, Tanzania raised objections relating to the lack of jurisdiction of the Court and inadmissibility of the application. After examining the matters, the Court concluded that the case was admissible and declared itself competent to hear it. It then turned to the merits of the case.

  • With regards to the alleged violation of the right to a fair trial enshrined in article 7 of the Charter: 
    •  The Applicant affirms that the national courts have ruled infra petita. After a careful examination, the Court noted that all the judgments took into account all the pleas presented and that the operative part of the decisions explained the legal reasoning adopted. The first plea in law was therefore rejected. 
    • The Applicant contends that by refusing to rule on the request for review, the Court of Appeal violated his right to a fair trial: the African Court noted that nothing in the documents presented to it proved that Mr. Kisase had indeed filed a request for review.
    • His right to legal assistance was breached as he was not assisted by a council before the courts of his country, which the defendant State did not challenge. The Court recalled  its consistent case-law according to which it interprets Article 7 (1) (c) of the Charter in the light of Article 14(3)(d) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and concluded that Tanzania had indeed breached its obligation to provide a fair trial.
  • With regards to the alleged violation of the right to be heard before the court and to equality before the law enshrined in article 3 of the Charter: The Court ruled that the Applicant did not provide any specific proof to support his claim and therefore rejected this plea. 

The Court awarded 300,000 Tanzanian Shillings for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the applicant.

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.

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