Browsing by Subject "African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights"
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ItemDiffusing Tension, Building Trust: Proposals on Guiding Principles Applicable during Consideration of the Activity Reports of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights(Global Campus, 2018) Biegon, JaphetAs the most active regional human rights supervisory mechanism in Africa, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has increasingly become the target of political backlash. The African Union (AU) Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) have on a number of occasions reacted angrily to decisions taken by the ACHPR in the discharge of its mandate. In the process, they have overstepped their role to consider the activity reports of the ACHPR. In particular, they have purported to alter substantive decisions of the ACHPR or direct how it should perform its independent and autonomous functions. This policy brief seeks to clarify the limits and boundaries of the involvement of AU political organs in mandate-related functions of the ACHPR. It proposes a set of five guiding principles that should be applied by the Executive Council and the PRC during their consideration of the activity reports of the ACHPR. In particular, it proposes that: (a) consideration of activity reports should not erode or undermine the role of the ACHPR as an independent and autonomous interpreter of the African Charter; (b) the competence to consider activity reports should be understood in light of the overriding object and purpose of the African Charter; (c) consideration of activity reports should take into account the fact that the African Charter contains safeguards for ensuring ACHPR’s internal independence; (d) the process of considering activity reports should not serve as a platform for member states to lodge appeals against decisions of the ACHPR; and (e) consideration of activity reports should foster the principles of separation of powers and rule of law within the AU.
ItemRecent developments in sub-Saharan Africa during 2018(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2019) Budoo, Ashwanee ; Abebe, Adem ; Buabeng-Baidoo, Stephen ; Ashagrey, HenokThis article highlights selected developments in democracy and human rights in Africa during 2018. While highlighting the progress that Africa has made in relation to democracy in countries such as Ethiopia, Angola, South Africa and Sierra Leone, it demonstrates how the situations in Uganda, Cameroon and Togo continued to be an attack on democracy. It also explains how, despite the lack of focus on democracy in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, this Agreement can lead to more democratic governance with respect for the rule of law in African countries. It then focuses on developments within the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In 2018 these judicial and quasi-judicial human rights institutions have handed down decisions or adopted soft laws with a view to better protecting human rights across the continent. Key words: democracy; human rights; African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; communications
ItemSelected developments in human rights and democratisation in Africa during 2020(Global Campus Human Rights, 2021) Makunya, Trésor Muhindo ; Afoyomungu, Olum Lornah ; Azanu, Ruddy Fualefeh Morfaw ; Murden, DavinaThe unexpected outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on democracy, constitutionalism and human rights in Africa. Many executive and legislative officials used the pandemic as a powerful excuse to postpone elections without making significant efforts to seek consensus among affected stakeholders as required by human rights instruments. This descent towards tokenistic constitutionalism has gone hand in hand with two types of unconstitutional changes of government, namely the coup d’état in Mali and third-termism in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, which together show how the commitment to constitutionalism remains elusive in many countries. Meanwhile, the African Union human rights bodies swiftly devised alternative means to hold their sessions online as it became clear that physical meetings were not possible. The African Commission and the African Court made significant progress in fulfilling their mandates in 2020, for example by revising their rules of procedure to include cutting-edge issues and adopting soft law instruments. These instruments provided significant guidance to state parties in order for their COVID-19 related measures and actions to comply with the African Charter. This article highlights developments in human rights and democratisation in Africa during 2020. The article begins with a discussion of two forms of unconstitutional change of government sanctioned by the African Democracy Charter, before turning to trends in the postponement of elections in many African countries and their implications on constitutionalism. The article then discusses developments within the African Commission and the African Court. The article concludes by arguing that, while the African Commission and the African Court made significant efforts to find innovative ways to fulfil their human rights mandates amid the pandemic, a number of African countries descended into symbolic democracy and constitutionalism.