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This article examines the reasons and the grounds behind the antiparathesis between the African Union and several of its Member States, on the one hand, and international criminal justice and the International Criminal Court (‘icc’), on the other hand. It also examines the consequences of and responses to this antiparathesis, including the creation of an International Criminal Law Section to the African Court of Justice and Human Rights and questions whether it offers any added value. The article concludes with suggesting the setting up of icc regional/circuit chambers, each dealing with a specific continent/region, as a means to restructure the icc, to make it more relevant to its users, namely the contracting parties to the Rome Statute, and to allay fears of politically motivated prosecutions.

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In: International Organizations Law Review

In September 2014, the Member States of the League of Arab States approved the Statute of the Arab Court of Human Rights finalising a 20-year process to put in place a human rights protection mechanism which resembles mechanisms operating in other regions. This article examines the defunct Arab Charter on Human Rights of 1994, the revised Human Rights Charter of 2004 as well as the mandate and the activities of the Arab Human Rights Committee. It then explains the drafting of the Court’s Statute, analyses the salient features of its Statute, which was concluded independently of the 2004 Charter, and makes pertinent comparisons with the European, Inter-American and African regional mechanisms.

In: International Human Rights Law Review
In: Shielding Humanity
The Law and Practice Behind Member States' Expulsion and Suspension of Membership
This volume deals with expulsion from and suspension of membership rights in international organisations. This is an area of the law of international organisations which has attracted limited attention by academic writers. The book examines some 35 different international organisations by analysing the relevant provisions in their constitutive instruments and, where available, discussing the practice. Additionally, it describes in considerable detail the practice of rejecting delegations' credentials as a means of excluding Member States from participation. Moreover, it suggests solutions for those international organisations lacking expulsion and/or suspension clauses by applying the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the theory of countermeasures in international law, especially as codified by the International Law Commission. Finally, the book offers a model expulsion and suspension clause to be incorporated in existing or future international organisations.

The present article analyzes the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the proposed “main judicial organ of the African Union”. The African Court of Justice and Human Rights is meant to replace the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights and would therefore constitute a unique international judicial body combining the jurisdiction of the judicial organ of an intergovernmental organization with the jurisdiction of a regional human rights court. It shares features of the International Court of Justice and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In a highly contentious move detrimental to the role of the International Criminal Court, it is currently proposed to extend its jurisdiction over international crimes, the definition of which goes much further than that currently accepted by the international community, raising the prospect of conflicting obligations. The Court’s governing instruments are too ambitious and contain some significant flaws and the case for doing away with the now operational African Court of Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights seems unconvincing. Even though the Court has not yet been established, its structure and mandate do pose many challenging questions that deserve to be thoroughly investigated by drawing comparisons with the existing similar judicial organs in other international organizations.

In: International Organizations Law Review


The article questions whether the Tribunal of the Southern Africa Development Community (sadc) ought to have entertained human rights cases given that the sadc Treaty does not endow it with such jurisdiction. It then analyses its demise in 2010, which was prompted by several rulings against Zimbabwe, whose policy of expropriating land without compensation was held to violate human rights. The pertinent aspects of these cases are reviewed, and the significance of Zimbabwe’s land reform programme is explained. The article elucidates why sadc leaders were prepared to suspend the Tribunal’s operation. This was a combination of alarm that it could evolve into a quasi-regional human rights court but also solidarity with the then President Mugabe, a hero of Africa’s liberation struggle. Finally, the pronouncements of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the High Court of Tanzania on the lawfulness of the sadc Tribunal’s suspension are considered.

In: International Human Rights Law Review

The adoption of the asean Human Rights Declaration in November 2012 marks the latest addition in the armoury of regional human rights protection. Even though it does not create a treaty based regime, it does incorporate all three ‘generations’ of human rights. The purpose of the present article is to examine the salient features of the Declaration not only by taking a comparative approach vis-à-vis the other regional systems but also by referring to the International Bill of Rights. The article also covers the asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights inaugurated in October 2009 and suggests ways to augment the Declaration’s effectiveness through the work of the Commission.

In: International Human Rights Law Review

This article examines the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) role in relation to international crimes allegedly committed in Africa; it considers the difficulties and obstacles that the ICC has encountered in securing the co-operation of not only States Parties but also of non-States Parties which, in certain instances, are mandated to assist it; and it analyses the acrimonious relationship that has arisen between the African Union (AU), the Continent’s political and security organisation, and the ICC. Thus far, the two most significant sources of antagonism between the ICC and Africa have been the arrest warrants against President al-Bashir of Sudan in relation to the situation in Darfur, and the crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated during Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007–2008. Finally, the article examines the continuing attempts by African States to amend Article 16 of the Rome Statute.

In: Nordic Journal of International Law