The history of the Working Group goes back to the Seminar on the Right to a Fair Trial in Africa held in collaboration with the African Society of International and Comparative Law and Interights, in Dakar, Senegal, from 9-11 September 1999. This Seminar adopted the Dakar Declaration and Recommendations on the Right to a Fair Trial in Africa.
The Working Group on Fair Trial was established by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with the adoption of Resolution 41 at the 26th Ordinary Session held in Kigali, Rwanda in November 1999. The Resolution requested that the Working Group prepare a draft of general principles and guidelines on the right to a fair trial and legal assistance under the African Charter and submit it to the 27th Ordinary Session of the Commission and for comments and observations by the Members of the Commission during the period between the 27th and 28th Sessions. The Working Group was also asked to report to the 28th Ordinary Session on the final draft of the general principles and guidelines on fair trial and legal assistance for consideration. The Working Group was instrumental in the development of the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa.