Chapter

The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

Frans Viljoen

in International Human Rights Law in Africa

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199218585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696107 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218585.003.0011
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

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Across the globe, including in Africa, ‘political’ questions have over the last decade become more and more judicialized. Africa has witnessed the creation of an international and a quasi-international criminal tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the institution of national constitutional courts, and the establishment of the African Court on Human and People's Rights (African Human Rights Court). African states have also accepted judicial resolution, by way of international and national adjudication, of contentious issues ranging from border disputes and armed incursions to disputed elections and the constitutionality of the death penalty. While these processes may represent ‘the continuation of politics by other means’, it is also true that legal argument and reasoned judgments may place significant constraints on political bargaining and arbitrary decision making by the executive. This chapter gives a background to the African Human Rights Court, before assessing the challenges it faces, among others in addressing the tension between law and politics.

Keywords: people's rights; human rights; courts; tribunals

Chapter.  31299 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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