Debate rages on whether to ratify or reject the Malabo Protocol
Experts and civil society organisations continue to disagree about whether Malawi should ratify or reject the protocol amending the Malabo Protocol.
Malawi: Experts and civil society organisations continue to disagree about whether Malawi should ratify or reject the protocol amending the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (The Malabo Protocol).
While other civil society organisations believe that signing the protocol would help the fight against human rights violations, legal experts see it as inadequate.
The Malabo Protocol includes criminal jurisdiction within the proposed African court's jurisdiction.
It also broadens the African Court of Justice and Human Rights' (ACJHR) jurisdiction to include international and transnational crimes.
If the Malabo Protocol is implemented, the ACJHR will be able to try 14 different crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, the crime of unconstitutional change of government, privacy, terrorism, mercenarism, corruption, money laundering, trafficking in persons, trafficking in drugs, trafficking in hazardous wastes, illicit exploration of natural resources, and crimes of aggression.
Speaking on Thursday 14 July, 2022 at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lilongwe aimed at raising awareness but also gaining support for the protocol's signing and ratification, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation Michael Kaiyatsa said the protocol would help the country address some crimes.
He stated that this would be an indication that the country prioritises the welfare of its citizens.
However, Gabriel Chembezi, an expert in international and transnational crimes, stated that ratifying the protocol in its current form would conflict with some laws that guide the African Court on human and people’s rights.
He suggested that it be changed before ratification.
In a separate interview, Commissioner Chikondi Chijozi stated that the protocol must be evaluated before it is implemented.
The African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in June 2014, and adopted the protocol Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, calling on AU member states to sign and ratify it.
So far, 15 countries have signed the treaty, but none have ratified it. The operation of the court requires the ratification of at least 15 member states.