Tiekoro Sangare et al. vs Republic of Mali

On February 21st, 2019, Mr. Tiekoro Sangara and 15 other people, together referred to as the applicants, filed before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (the ACHPR or the Court) an application instituting proceedings against the Republic of Mali for alleged violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) in its articles  3, 13 and 17 as well as other international instruments.

Mr Sangaré and the other applicants maintained that they had been discriminated against by the Malian Government. Indeed, pursuant to a ministerial decree of February 6th, 2006, the Director General of the National Police had to carry out the census of all officers holding higher diplomas in order to integrate them into the body of inspectors and police commissioners after having undergone training at the National Police Academy. The applicants claim to have provided the required diplomas but were not retained for vocational training. They also claim that other agents, who at first had been dismissed, were reinstated and duly appointed after filing an appeal with the Administrative Section of the Malian Supreme Court. Despite the various measures taken both before their administration and before the national courts to assert their rights, the applicants were not included in the training programme at the National Police Academy.

The Court delivered its judgment in this case on June 23rd, 2022. It first ascertained its jurisdiction and the admissibility of the application before turning to the merits.

Regarding firstly the alleged violation of the right to equality before the law and the right to equal protection of the law (Articles 3(1) and (2) of the Charter and Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the applicants submitted that the Ministry of Internal Security and Civil Protection had made a discriminatory application of the 2006 Decree by promoting certain officers who had obtained their diploma after the decree. The Malian Government replied that access to the vocational training of the Police Academy was open only to officers who already held the university diplomas listed and that none of the applicants had that document at that time, which is a fact the applicants do not dispute. The Court recalled its settled case-law “it is for the party who claims to have been the victim of discriminatory treatment to provide proof of this and that general assertions that a right has been infringed are not sufficient. More concrete evidence is needed.” It also notes that the administration applied the conditions laid down in the 2006 decree, which is a general and impersonal instrument and that the applicants  have failed to prove the alleged discrimination. It concludes that the Malian Supreme Court did not err in its interpretation of the 2006 Decree and that, therefore, the applicants’ right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law had not been violated.

Regarding secondly the alleged violation of the right to equal access to public office (Article 13(2) of the Charter and Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the applicants submit that Article 125 of the Law of July 12nd, 2010 unreasonably restricts equal access to public office, which the Malian Government disputes. After examination, the Court determined that this provision does not contain is not discriminatory and that the condition of the authorization of the hierarchical superior to have access to training for promotion is not an unreasonable restriction on the right which violation is alleged. The means cannot therefore prosper.

Regarding thirdly the alleged violation of the right to education (Article 17(1) of the Charter), the applicants claimed that Article 125 of the Law of July 12th, 2010 constituted an obstacle to education in so far as it required the authorisation of the hierarchical superior before starting training. After examination, the Court concluded that the authorization under discussion did not constitute an obstacle to this right.

Finally, regarding the alleged violation of the right to be promoted to a higher post (Article 7 of the Covenant), the applicants’ claims were not granted. The plea was therefore rejected.

Judgment of 23-06-2022.pdf

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.