The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered its judgment in the matter of Rev. Christopher Mtikila v. The United Republic of Tanzania.
The case was brought to the African Court as a result of a civic engagement exercise undertaken by students attending the spring 2012 semester program in Tanzania from The College of Global Studies at Arcadia. Along with two other African lawyers, Roland Adjovi, human rights lawyer and Arcadia University Academic Director for programs in Tanzania, represented Reverend Christopher R. Mtikila.
The Court found that the requirement enshrined in the Constitution of Tanzania that all persons running for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local elections be a member of and/or be sponsored by a political party, violates the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In its decision, the African Court “directed the authorities to take constitutional, legislative and all other necessary measures within a reasonable time to remedy these violations.”
The ruling has far reaching implications for numerous African countries where independent candidates for election are not allowed.
Adjovi and his legal opinions and writings are at the forefront of addressing human rights legal issues in East Africa. He has a strong background in working with African judicial and human rights organizations, including his experience as Senior Legal Officer within the Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as legal assistant for the Organization for African Unity.
His work has provided extraordinary learning opportunities for Arcadia students who studied abroad in Tanzania under Adjovi’s direction at the Arcadia Center for East African Studies.
Photo credit: UWANONE Jean-Pierre