The Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa
On the initiative of Algeria, the African Union adopted at the fifteenth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government held in Kampala, Uganda, from 25 to 27 July 2010, the Decision to create a space African Constitutional Justice.
The creation of this space responds to the imperative to federate the jurisdictions in charge of the control of constitutionality, having adopted African mechanisms of constitutional justice, in a continental space which allows them to participate in the field which is theirs, to the promotion and the dissemination of the universal values and principles of rule of law, democracy and human rights enshrined in the preamble of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
A preparatory meeting of the Presidents of the Constitutional Justice Courts in Africa, held on the sidelines of the Second World Conference on Constitutional Justice in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 16 January 2011, had instructed Algeria to lead the process of creating this space, to its end.
The Presidents and representatives of the Constitutional Courts and Councils and equivalent institutions in Africa held on 7 and 8 May 2011 at the headquarters of the Constitutional Council of Algeria the Constitutive Congress of the African Area of Constitutional Justice, which they called ” Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa “(CCJA).
Fifty-two participants (52) representing twenty-five (25) African constitutional courts took part in this Congress, enhanced by the presence of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the President of the European Commission for Democracy through the right, better known as the “Venice Commission”.
During the Congress, the participants examined and adopted the Statute of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA), and proceeded, at the election of the first Executive Bureau and the Secretary General. The Permanent Secretary General and the Treasurer are appointed by the country of the seat.
The headquarters of the general secretariat of the CCJA is set in Algiers.
The CCJA currently has forty-five (45) African constitutional court members, and (3) three non-African observer members, namely: Brazil, Russia and Turkey.
The CCJA holds a Congress every two year. Since its creation, four Congresses have been held respectively in Algiers (2011), Cotonou (2013), Libreville (2015) and Cape Town (2017); the fifth Congress will be held in Luanda – Angola, in June 2019.
In order to promote constitutional justice in Africa and to promote the exchange of experiences, the CCJA holds an international seminar between two Congresses. The first seminar took place in Cotonou in 2013 on the theme: “the constitutional judge and the political power”. The second took place in Algiers in 2017 on the theme of “the access of individuals to constitutional justice”.
The proceedings of the seminars, grouped together and translated into several languages, are widely disseminated.
At the international level, CCJA enjoys “Observer” status with the African Union as an organization composed of institutions of AU Member States; she is also a member of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) under the Regional groups.
The conference links many cooperation agreements with regional and linguistic groups that are active in the field of constitutional justice, such as: Venice Commission, Asian Association for Constitutional Justice, Arab Union of Constitutional Courts, Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of Countries of New Democracy,…
The CCJA has a website which operates in the four working languages of the Conference, namely: Arabic, English, French and Portuguese.