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The republic of Chad



Since obtaining independence in 1960, Chad has been beset by autocratic and military regimes, coups d’états and civil wars that have led to gross violations of human rights. Former President Hissene Habré was tried—to international standards—by the Extraordinary African Chambers within the courts of Senegal, and convicted of crimes against humanity and torture committed between June 1982 and December 1990—while he was in power. Several other government officials during Habré’s regime, including Saleh Younous (a former director of Chad’s Directorate of Documentation and Service (DDS)) and Mahamat Djibrine (a member of the DDS known for brutal acts of torture), were tried and convicted in Chad. Since 1990, under Idriss Deby’s leadership, the democratization process has started but the pace has been slow. The Executive exercises broad discretionary powers and has substantial control over the other branches of government. The years 2015 and 2016 saw contested presidential elections, terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, and an economic crisis due to the drop of oil prices on the international market, amid which the state intensified restrictions of civil and political liberties, contributing to the growing discontent of the population.


Treaty ratification Process

Under Chad’s Constitution (arts.218-221), the power to negotiate and ratify international treaties is generally entrusted to the President of the Republic. Treaties related to peace, defense, commerce, use of the country’s territory or the exploitation of its natural resources, or international organizations, or which commits national funds, require the prior authorization of the National Assembly.  In addition, treaties involving the transfer, exchange, or addition of territory must be approved in a referendum. The judiciary (“Conseil Constitutionnel”) can determine whether a treaty conforms with the constitution upon the request of the President of the Republic or the National Assembly. Duly ratified and published treaties are directly incorporated into the country’s domestic legislation, and they have higher authority than that of other laws. Thus, Chad can be called a monist country.


State of legislation on International and transnational crimes

In May 2017, Chad enacted a new and modern penal code providing for jurisdiction over core international crimes with the exception of the crime of aggression, and some transnational crimes including piracy, human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, mercenary, corruption, and trafficking in hazardous wastes. Chad also has enacted specific legislation on terrorism. Despite these initiatives towards the realization of international justice, Chad entered into an agreement with the United States of America prohibiting the surrender of persons to the International Criminal Court on June 30, 2003.


Human Rights treaty signing and ratification trends

Chad has signed and ratified most of the AU human rights instruments, with an average of 85 months between signing and ratification.[1] At the UN level, Chad is party to 6 of the 9 core human rights treaties and party to 2 UN crime-based treaties. The average time between the signature and the ratification is 10 months. This short time between the two action is explained by the fact that Chad accessioned to most of UN instruments or signed and ratified them almost at the same time.


AU Judicial bodies membership

Treaty Signature Ratification
Protocol to the African Charter on Human And Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Yes Yes
Protocol of the Court of Justice of the African Union Yes No
  Protocol on The Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (Merger Protocol) Yes No
Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights yes No


[1] See Annex: Treaty signing and ratification trends, calculation chart, Chad.