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International Decision: Michelot Yogogombaye v. The Republic of Senegal:
App. No. 001/2008: Judgment


Charles Chernor Jalloh


Florida International University College of Law

July 30, 2010

American Journal of International Law, Vol. 104, No. 4, pp. 620-628, October 2010
U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-26

Abstract:     
State Parties have automatic access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, based in Arusha, Tanzania. In stark contrast, individuals and NGOs (i.e. those most likely to bring cases alleging human rights violations), can only initiate proceedings if the respondent State has entered a special declaration accepting the Court’s competence to receive such cases. Predictably, in a continent rife with human rights violations, only a few African States have accepted the Court’s jurisdiction to hear such (individual or NGO) petitions since its formal creation in June 1998.

After years without hearing any cases, the Court finally received a complaint brought by an individual. This gave it the opportunity to render its first judgment in the matter of Michelot Yogogombaye v. The Republic of Senegal on December 15, 2009. Though it ultimately dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, the Judgment is significant for various reasons.

This case note examines those reasons. It analyzes how the Court treated Yogogombaye’s application in an attempt to open the jurisdictional door to receive individual complaints a little wider. It also assesses the implications of invoking the doctrine of forum prorogatum, which is established in the International Court of Justice, as discussed by the important separate opinion of Judge Fatsah Ouguerguez. It is submitted that the Court’s present jurisdictional scheme defeats the purpose of having a regional human rights tribunal to adjudicate and enforce human rights norms in Africa.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Charles Jalloh, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Yogogombaye v. Senegal, First Judgment of the African Court, African Human Rights System

JEL Classification: K33, K40

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Date posted: August 2, 2010 ; Last revised: May 15, 2011

Suggested Citation

Jalloh, Charles Chernor, International Decision: Michelot Yogogombaye v. The Republic of Senegal: App. No. 001/2008: Judgment (July 30, 2010). American Journal of International Law, Vol. 104, No. 4, pp. 620-628, October 2010; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1651262

Contact Information

Charles Chernor Jalloh (Contact Author)
Florida International University College of Law ( email )
11200 SW 8th Street
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fiu.edu
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