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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The realisation of human rights in Africa through sub-regional institutions
Author:Viljoen, FransISNI
Periodical:African Yearbook of International Law
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:international criminal courts
African courts
human rights
Abstract:This article investigates the extent to which subregional organizations in Africa have been and can in future be vehicles for the improvement of human rights on the continent. Each of these organizations provides for an institution in the form of a court or tribunal to resolve conflicts or to interpret the founding treaty. The author deals first with two institutions which have ceased to operate, the Court of Appeal of East Africa and the West African Court of Appeal, before turning to institutions functioning at present: the ECOWAS Court of Justice, the SADC Tribunal, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Court of Justice, and the Maghreb Court of Justice. He concludes that human rights issues have not featured prominently on the agenda of modern subregional organizations in Africa. Three feasible options for the improvement of regional human rights are open to subregional organizations: using the existing treaty to improve human rights protection, the adoption of independent subregional human rights charters, or incorporation of the African Charter into subregional treaties. Whichever alternative is followed, the subregional institutions in Africa should take decisive steps to incorporate human rights concerns meaningfully into their mandates. Notes, ref.