Giuseppe Pascale

An Optimistic Perspective on the Proliferation of Human Rights Monitoring Bodies in Africa

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Proliferation of International Tribunals; Overlapping Jurisdictions; Coordination Rules Among International Courts and Tribunals; African Human Rights System; African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights; African Sub-regional Jurisdictional Organs

Many human rights monitoring bodies coexist in Africa. At a continental level the African Court flanks the African Commission, while at a sub-regional level some jurisdictional organs belonging to the Sub-Regional Economic Communities have progressively extended their competence to human rights disputes. Whether a coordination among these bodies is effectively needed mostly depends on the evaluation of the proliferation of international tribunals from a broader perspective. In this paper, my aim is to contribute to demonstrating that, if one regards the proliferation of international tribunals as a positive phenomenon, the said need decreases or disappears. For these purposes, first of all, I introduce the African Commission and the African Court. Thereafter, I focus on the development of the human rights competence of the three most representative sub-regional jurisdictional organs (the SADC Tribunal, the EAC Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Court of Justice). After ascertaining the lack of provisions governing the relationships between these organs, I dwell on the methods of coordination proposed by some scholars. In the last paragraph, I suggest that such coordination is not actually necessary

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