The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa is hosting a partners meeting on 9 – 10 June 2015 in Mombasa Kenya to finalise the application to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights (African Court) seeking its advisory opinion on the legal interpretation of article 6(d) of the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. On 4 to 6 December 2012 and 9 to 11 September 2013, non – governmental organisations (NGO) with a focus on women’s land and property rights in eight (8) countries convened a meeting to discuss the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa commonly known as the Maputo Protocol. Article 6(d) of the Maputo protocol provides that; ‘every marriage shall be recorded in writing and registered in accordance with national laws, in order to be legally recognised’ but does not set out what is required from States in order to enable the registration. The provision has been interpreted, in some quarters, as meaning that unregistered marraiges will not be recognised. This interpretation will have dire consequences for many women, particularly those who are married under customary law. The organisations agreed to jointly submit an application to the African Court, seeking its advisory opinion on the legal interpretation of article 6(d) of the Maputo protocol which will set out the obligations of State in enabling registration of marriages. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the draft application and agree on various elements of the request to the court; (b) discuss the issue of standing for non-governmental organisations to request advisory opinion as per the statement by the president at the opening of the 56th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights; and to (c) discuss other issues related to women’s land and property rights that needs to be addressed by civil society, amongst other things.
To learn more about the advisory opinion application, please contact: