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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights - Rules of Procedure

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Chapter XVI - Protection Activities Communications from the States Parties to the Charter

Section I - Procedure for the Consideration of Communications Recieved in Conformity with Article 47 of the Charter: Procedure for Communications-Negotiations

Rule 88 - Procedure

1. A communication under Article 47 of the Charter should be submitted to the Secretary General, the Chairman of the Commission and the State party concerned.

2. The communication referred to above should be in writing and contain a detailed and comprehensive statement on the actions denounced as well as the provisions of the Charter alleged to have been violated.

3. The notification of the communication to the State party to the Charter, the Secretary General and the Chairman of the Commission shall be done through the most practicable and reliable means.

Rule 89 - Register of Communications

The Secretary shall keep a permanent register for all communications received under Article 47 of the Charter.

Rule 90 - Reply and time limit

1. The reply of the State party to the Charter to which a communication is addressed should reach the requesting State party to the Charter within 3 months following the receipt of the notification of the communication.

2. It shall be accompanied particularly by:

a) Written explanations, declarations or statements relating to the issues raised;
b) Possible indications and measures taken to end the situation denounced;
c) Indications on the law and rules of procedure applicable or applied;
d) Indications on the local procedures for appeal already used, in process or still open.

Rule 91 - Non-Settlement of the Issue

1. If within three (3) months from the date the notification of the original communication is received by the addressee State, the issue has not been settled to the satisfaction of the two interested parties, through the selected channel of negotiation or through any other peaceful procedure selected by common consent of the parties, the issue shall be referred to the Commission, in accordance with the provisions of Article 48 of the Charter.

2. The issue shall also be referred to the Commission if the addressee State party to the Charter fails to react to the request made under Article 47 of the Charter, within the same 3 months' period of time.

Rule 92 - Seizing of the Commission

At the expiration of the 3 months' time limit referred to in Article 47 of the Charter, and in the absence of a satisfactory reply or in case the addressee State party may submit the communication to the Commission through a notification addressed to its Chairman, the other interested State party and the Secretary General.

Section II - Procedure for the Consideration of the Communications Recieved in Conformity with Articles 48 and 49 of the Charter: Procedure for Communication -Complaint

Rule 93 - Seizing of the Commission

1. Any communication submitted under Articles 48 and 49 of the Charter may be submitted to the Commission by any one of the interested States parties through notification addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, the Secretary General and the State party concerned.

2. The notification referred to in paragraph 1 of the present Rule shall contain information on the following elements or accompanied particularly by:

a) Measures taken to try to resolve the issue pursuant to Article 47 of the Charter including the text of the initial communications and any future written explanation from the interested States parties to the Charter relating to the issue;
b) Measures taken to exhaust local procedure for appeal;
c) Any other procedure for the international investigation or international settlement to which the interested States parties have resorted.

Rule 94 - Permanent Register of Communications

The Secretary shall keep a permanent register for all communications received by the Commission under Articles 48 and 49 of the Charter.

Rule 95 - Seizing of the Members of the Commission

The Secretary shall immediately inform the members of the Commission of any notification received pursuant to Rule 91 of the Rules of Procedure and shall send to them, as early as possible, a copy of the notification as well as the relevant information.

Rule 96 - Private Session and Press Release

1. The Commission shall consider the communications referred to in Articles 48 and 49 of the Charter in closed session.

2. After consulting the interested States parties to the Charter, the Commission may issue through the Secretary, release on its private sessions for the attention of the media and the public.

Rule 97 - Consideration of the Communication

The Commission shall consider a communication only when:

a) The procedure offered to the States parties by Article 47 of the Charter has been exhausted;
b) The time limit set in Article 48 of the Charter has expired;
c) The Commission is certain that all the available local remedies have been utilised and exhausted, in accordance with the generally recognized principles of international law, or that the application of these remedies is unreasonably prolonged or that there are no effective remedies.

Rule 98 Amicable Settlement

Except the provisions of the present Rules of Procedure, the Commission shall place its good offices at the disposal of the interested States parties to the Charter so as to reach an amicable solution on the issue based on the respect of human rights and fundamental liberties, as recognized by the Charter.

Rule 99 - Additional Information

The Commission may through the Secretary, request the States parties or one of them to communicate additional information or observations orally or in writing. The Commission shall fix a time limit for the submission of the written information or observations.

Rule 100 - Representation of States Parties

1. The States parties to the Charter concerned shall have the right to be represented during the consideration of the issue by the Commission and to submit observations orally and in writing or in either form.

2. The Commission shall notify, as soon as possible, the States parties concerned, through the Secretary of the opening day, the duration and the venue of the session at which the issue will be examined.

3. The procedure to be followed for the presentation of oral or written observations shall be determined by the Commission.

Rule 101 - Report of the Commission

1. The Commission shall adopt a report pursuant to Article 52 of the Charter within 12 months, following the notification referred to in Article 48 of the Charter and Rule 90 of the present Rules of Procedure.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 of Rule 99 of these Rules of Procedure shall not apply to the deliberations of the Commission relating to the adoption of the report.

3. The report referred to above shall concern the decisions and conclusions that the Commission will reach.

4. The report of the Commission shall be communicated to the States parties concerned through the Secretary.

5. The report of the Commission shall be sent to the Assembly through the Secretary General, together with the recommendations that it shall deem useful.

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