Purpose of the Policy
The Library supports the Court in its mandate to promote and protect human rights in Africa. To that end, and in addition to its services to the Court and Registry of the Court, the library is open to researchers in human rights and related fields from all over the world.
As outlined in part 3 (b) of the Library Policy Document, the Library of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is open to guest users, including researchers in human rights and related fields from all over the world. Researchers are welcome to use the library during the opening hours of the library as outlined in the Library Policy Document.
Researchers are requested to communicate their intent to conduct research in the library to the Librarian or Registrar of the Court at least a week in advance.
In order to ensure that the best possible environment for research is provided for all users, researchers shall abide by the Library Rules and Regulations of the African Court Library as outlined in part 16 of the Library Policy Document.
Researchers may use the information resources available in the library but are not permitted to borrow or take them out of the library.
Researchers may consult available legal officers for assistance on legal matters subject to availability of time on the part of the officers.
Researchers shall at all times observe local and international copyright regulations.
The Court will not be responsible for researchers and their property while within the premises of the Court.
While in the library and the Court premises, researchers are required to adhere to Court etiquette and civility at all times.
Researchers should be appropriately, respectfully and professionally dressed.
Researchers should clear with the Court Security at the main entrance before entering the Court premises.
While carrying out research in the library is allowed, any type of research about or on the library and the Court in general will have to be approved by the Registrar in advance.
This Research Policy and guidelines will be reviewed together with the main Library Policy Document after every three years by the Library Committee of the Court.
3 (b) Use of the Library by Guest Users
These are students, researchers, representatives of parties in cases before the Court, staff of other organs of the African Union, Members of the Permanent Representative Council, and representatives of non-governmental and civil society organisations with research interest in human rights. These users will be able to access the library during the opening hours by appointment only. To make an appointment, they will have to contact the librarian at least a week in advance.
LIBRARY RULES AND REGULATIONS
In order to ensure that the best possible environment for research is provided for all users, each user of the library will be required to abide by the Library Rules and Regulations listed below:
The library is a place for silent and private study. Users must therefore maintain silence at all times.
All users are required to present an identity card or similar document before using the library.
Library materials must not be marked, defaced, mutilated or annotated in any way.
Consultations and discussions in the Library are strictly prohibited. The court provides other areas for such activity.
Users must observe copyright regulations and provision in respect of all library items.
The PCs in the library are meant for searching the library database and the Internet only.
Readers are requested to use the coat stand and baggage area provided at the Library entrance for their personal belongings.
The number of items that a user may borrow at any given time will be as follows:
a) Judges and the Registrar: 5 books for 3 months.
b) Legal officers: 5 books for 1 month.
c) Other staff members: 3 books for one month.
d) External users: These cannot borrow and take away items. They can only use items in the library, with the permission of the Registrar.
Users’ library details will be contained in a bar code which will be embedded on to the staff ID card.
Users will therefore need to present their ID cards at the check out counter.
Borrowed items may not be lent to third parties.
Users must immediately inform the library of changes in their contact address.
Loss or damage of any library items must be immediately reported to the library.
No library item shall be taken out of the Library without due procedure.
Books/Journals must be left on the tables where they were used. Users should not return them to the shelves. This will be done by the librarians.
Lost or damaged items shall be replaced at the cost of the borrower, at the prevailing market rates and a USD 10 administrative fee.
The Library will not engage in interlibrary loans until such a time when the collection is large enough. It will however seek to obtain items for its users from other libraries.
Conduct in the library
Mobile telephones must be switched off and may not be used in the reading room.
Discussions and consultations are not allowed in the library.
Smoking and eating are not permitted in the Library.
Notices may not be displayed in the Library without the approval of the Librarian.
Personal items should not be left unattended in the library. The library shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage to such items.
Bags, briefcases, raincoats, and umbrellas shall not be taken into the Library, but should be left at the baggage area near the exit.
Desks and furniture should not be moved without the permission of the Librarian.
Users should demonstrate courtesy to other users and staff at all times.
The use of the African Court Library by external researchers has always been provided for in our current Library Policy Document (Part 3 b) as approved by the Court at its 19th Session in 2010. This research policy expounds on this provision.
This research policy will be incorporated into the Main Library Policy Document during the next review.