Communications may either be submitted
If the complaint is not directed against a State party to the Charter, it will not be registered.
Furthermore, communications are subject to certain conditions of admissibility. They have to:
Communications can be sent here:
The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights
No 31 Bijilo Annex Layout
Kombo North District
P.O. Box 673
Fax: +220 441 05 04
Once a communication is recognized as admissible, the Commission provides the parties the facilities to settle the conflict amicably. If a friendly settlement is reached, a report containing the terms of the agreement is presented to the Commission at its session. This automatically brings consideration of the case to an end.
If no settlement is reached, the Commission examines the communication in detail. Some states send representatives to the sessions of the Commission to confute the accusations brought against them. NGOs and individuals can also appear before the Commission.
After the attentive analysis of the facts and arguments of the two parties, the Commission can decide about the existence of a violation of the dispositions of the Charter. If it states a violation, it recommends some measures to the State concerned.
Follow-up on the recommendations
In order to supervise the compliance of the State, for whom a violation of the Charter has been stated, with these recommendations, the Secretariat of the Commission sends reminders. In these reminders, the Commission demands to upkeep the engagement the State has entered through Article 1 of the Charter. Still, letters of reminder are no means of legal enforcement and, formally, the ACPHR has thus no official procedures to supervise implementation and to compel States to abide by these recommendations. Under the current conditions, follow-up depends on the good-will of the States concerned.
However, recommendations are included in the Commissioner's Annual Activity Reports which are submitted to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in conformity with Article 54 of the Charter. If they are adopted, they become legally binding on the States parties and are published.
The ACHPR is currently the main monitoring body in the field of human rights on the African continent. States have been increasingly willing to engage with its work. Still, it is only a quasi-judicial body. Its final recommendations are not by themselves legally binding on the states concerned and there is no official enforcement.
Description on the website of the Commission:
The Commission has issued a number of declarations and principles on various human rights issues. By nature, every recommendation of the Commission concerns only African affairs.
The decisions are accessible here: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/africa/comcases/comcases.html