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Wasiński: The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Wasiński: The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Marek Jan Wasiński (Univ. of Łódź) has published Afrykańska Karta Praw Człowieka i Ludów: Studium podstawy normatywnej / The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Normative Pillar of the African Regional Human Rights System [in Polish] (Univ. of Łódź Press 2017). Here’s the abstract:

The Charter and the African human rights regime are surveyed in four parts. Part One shows various historical, social and political factors canvassing the movement towards institutionalised international protection of human rights in Africa which further influenced travaux préparatoires preceding the adoption of the Charter. This part also demonstrates that the interplay of such factors decisively determined the wording of the substantive and procedural provisions of the treaty.

Detailed technical parameters of the said regime are presented in Part Two which discusses a vast array of problems connected with the application of the Charter ratione personae, ratione loci and ratione temporis. This part also covers the implementation of the international human rights in Africa presenting the Charter from the perspective of domestic courts and their jurisprudence.

Part Three contains an in-depth presentation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights elaborating on its structure, organization, protective mandate, promotional mandate and competence to interpret the Charter. A comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vast Commission’s jurisprudence discloses its efforts to overcome institutional and procedural obstacles and to contribute effectively to the development of international human rights law in Africa.

As the Commission had not managed to achieve the aims in their entirety, the African Union decided to establish the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to supplement the protective mandate of the pre-existing non-judicial body. Hence, Part Four presents the structure, organization and competences of the Court further discussing the problem of complementarity of the Court and the Commission.

The Final Remarks accentuate the conclusion that from the institutional perspective the African human rights system anno Domini 2017 though well established, remains still in flux. In particular, the relation between the Court and the Commission (and at the same time the dynamics of the institutional protection of human rights in Africa) may alter in the future depending on the outcomes of the ongoing reform of the Court supervised by the African Union as well as on the synergy between the organs. The Final Remarks also highlight some selected general dilemmas concerning the African system that still require closer scientific attention.

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