AFRICAN COURT ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS
COUR AFRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME ET DES PEUPLES
APPLICATION NO. 003/2017
FOR INTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT OF 18 NOVEMBER 2016
IN THE MATTER OF
ACTIONS POUR LA PROTECTION DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
REPUBLIC OF CôTE D'IVOIRE
28 SEPTEMBER 2017
The Court composed of: Ben KIOKO, Vice-President; Gérard NIYUNGEKO, El Hadji GUISSÉ, Rafäa BEN ACHOUR, Solomy B. BOSSA, Angelo V. MATUSSE, NtyamO. MENGUE, Marie-Thérése MUKAMULISA, Tujilane R. CHIZUMILA, Chafika BENSAOULA, Judges; and Robert ENO, Registrar.
In the Application for Interpretation of the Judgment of 18 November 2016 in the Matter of Actions Pour la Protection des Droits de L'Homme v. Republic of Cöte
In accordance with Article 22 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (hereinafter referred to as "the Protocol") and Rule 8 (2) of the Rules of Court (hereinafter referred to as "the Rules"), Justice Sylvain ORÉ, President of the Court and a national of Cote d'Ivoire did not hear the application.
Justices Fatsah OUGUERGOUZ, Augustino S. L. RAMADHANI, Duncan TAMBALA and Elsie N. Thompson who heard the substantive case and no longer being members of the Court, Rule 66(4) of the Rules was applied.
renders the following Judgment:
1. The Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire filed before this Court by virtue of Article 28 (4) of the Protocol and Rule 66 (1) of the Rules, an Application for Interpretation of the Judgment delivered by the Court on 18 November, 2016 in the afore-mentioned Matter.
2. The Application dated 4 May 2017 was received at the Court's Registry on the same date and on 8 May 2017 was transmitted to APDH for possible observations.
3. On 19 June 2017, APDH filed its observations which were transmitted to the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire by a notice of the same date.
4. At its 46th Ordinary Session held from 4 to 22 September 2017, the Court, pursuant to Rule 59(1) of the Rules decided to close the written procedure.
5. The Court did not deem it necessary to hold a public hearing.
ll. APPLICATION FOR INTERPRETATION
6. As stated above, the instant Application for Interpretation concerns the Court's Judgment of 18 November 2016 in the Matter of APDH v. Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire
(Application 001/2014), the operative provisions of which read as follows:
5) Rules that the Respondent State has violated its obligation to establish an independent and impartial electoral body as provided under Article 17 of the African Charter on Democracy and Article 3 of the ECOWAS Democracy Protocol, and consequently, also violated its obligation to protect the right of the citizens to participate freely in the management of the public affairs of their country guaranteed by Article 13 (1) and (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights;
6) Rules that the Respondent State has violated its obligation to protect the right to equal protection of the law guaranteed by Article 10 (3) of the African Charter on Democracy, Article 3 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
7) Orders the Respondent State to amend Law No. 2014-335 of 18 June 2014 on the Independent Electoral Commission to make it compliant with the aforementioned instruments to which it is a Party;
8) Orders the Respondent State to submit to it a report on the implementation of this decision within a reasonable time which, in any case, should not exceed one year from the date of publication of this Judgment"
7. In its Application for interpretation, the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire prayed the Court to provide answers to the following three questions:
i) For the purposes of implementing the Judgment, the State of Cöte d'Ivoire prays the Court to avail it of more specific indications on the nomenclature of the new IEC especially with regard to its organization, background, mode of appointment of its members and distribution of the seats.
ii). The State would also like to know whether or not the possibility of submitting the Electoral Law for control by a constitutional Judge can help guarantee the independence and impartiality of its members.
iii) If yes, the Court may wish to accept to further enlighten the Ivorian authorities on the notion "laws relating to public freedoms."
8. The APDH submits that none of the three issues raised by the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire calls for the interpretation of the afore-said Judgment. It therefore prays the
Court to declare the Application inadmissible.
Ill. JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
9. As indicated above, the instant Application for interpretation concerns the Judgment rendered by the Court on 18 November 2016
10. Article 28 (4) of the Protocol provides that: the Court may interpret its own decision".
11. The Court consequently holds that it has the jurisdiction to interpret this judgment
IV. ADMISSIBILITY OF THE APPLICATION
12. As regards admissibility of the Application, Rules 66 (1) and (2) of the Rules stipulates as follows:
"1. Pursuant to [a]rticle 28 (4) of the Protocol, any party may, for the purpose of executing a judgment, apply to the Court for interpretation of the judgment within twelve months from the date the judgment was delivered, unless the Court, in the interest of justice, decides otherwise.
2. The application shall be filed in the Registry. It shall state clearly the point or points in the operative provisions of the judgment on which interpretation is required
13. It apparent from the content of the foregoing provision that a request for interpretation of a Judgment may be declared admissible only where the three following conditions have been met:
- the request has been filed within twelve (12) months from the date the Judgment was delivered
- the request states clearly the point or points in the operative provisions on which interpretation is required, and
- the objective is to facilitate implementation of the Judgment.
14. Given that the judgment was delivered on 18 November 2016, the Court notes that the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire has complied with the statutory 12 months' timeframe prescribed for submission of a request for interpretation.
15. As regards the second condition, the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire merely states that it seeks to interpret the Judgment without specifying the point(s) of the operative provisions of the Judgment of which interpretation is requested.
16. The Court also notes, with regard to the finality of the instant Application, that although the first question seems to relate to the aforementioned paragraph 7 of the operative provisions of the Judgment, it is not intended to clarify the meaning of this point. Rather, it seeks the Court's opinion as to how to implement this point, which, in the Court's view, is the responsibility of the State of Cöte d'Ivoire.
17. As regards the other two questions posed by the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire, the Court notes that they do not relate to any of the operative provisions of the Judgment of which interpretation is requested.
18. In view of the foregoing, the Court holds in conclusion that none of the three questions posed by the Republic of Cöte d'Ivoire is intended to clarify the meaning or scope of any point in the operative provisions of the afore-mentioned Judgment delivered by the Court on 18 November 2016.
19. The Court accordingly finds that, although the instant Application for interpretation was filed within the 12-month time limit prescribed in the Rules, it does not meet the other admissibility conditions set forth in Rules 66 (1) and (2) of the Rules and must therefore be declared inadrnissible.
20. In terms of Rule 30 of the Rules, "unless otherwise decided by the Court, each party shall bear its own costs".
21. Taking into account the circumstances of this matter the Court decides that each party should bear its own costs
22. For these reasons,
- Declares that it has jurisdiction to hear the present Application.
- Declares that the Application is inadmissible.
- Rules that each Party shall bear its own Costs.
Ben KIOKO, Vice-President
Gérard NIYUNGEKO, Judge
El Hadji GUISSÉ, Judge
Rafäa BEN ACHOUR, Judge
Solomy B. BOSSA, Judge
Angelo V. MATUSSE, Judge
Ntyam O. MENGUE, Judge
Marie-Thérése MUKAMULISA, Judge
Tujilane R. CHIZUMILA, Judge
Chafika BENSAOULA, Judge
Robert ENO, Registrar
Done at Arusha, this Twenty Eighth Day of Septerrlber, in the year Two Thousand and Seventeen, in English and French, the French text being authoritative.