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The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights: Mapping resistance against a young court

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At first glance, it appears that the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights – the first pan-continental court of the African Union (AU) for human rights protection – epitomises the advances made by international courts in Africa in the past decade. Since its first judgment in 2009, the Court has taken a robust approach to its mandate and its docket is growing apace. However, a closer look at the overall context in which the Court operates reveals that it is susceptible to many of the patterns of resistance that have hampered other international courts in the region, which cut across the development of its authority and impact. This paper analyses the forms and patterns of resistance against the African Court and the actors involved, emphasising the additional difficulties entailed in mapping resistance to a young court compared to long-established courts, such as the European and Inter-American human rights courts.
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... Secondly, we looked at domestic political and socioeconomic factors such as where the state was geographically in the region; the political background of the state and whether it was an established democracy or post-conflict; whether it was a federal or centralized system; the existence or otherwise of a vibrant civil society including one which is knowledgeable of the international and regional human rights systems; as well as language (Hillebrecht 2012a(Hillebrecht , 2012bCardenas 2007;Anagnostou 2010;Voeten 2014). Thirdly, our criteria included domestic mechanisms, legal traditions and other factors, encompassing the existence of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) or parliamentary human rights committees as well as domestic mechanisms for implementation of decisions; civil and common law traditions and monist and dualist traditions (Huneeus 2011;Daly and Wiebusch 2018;Calı and Wyss 2009). Our final set of factors related to the feasibility of conducting research, namely whether the research team had contacts with national actors and would be able to work within the state and engage with them; our ability to speak relevant languages; and whether other research had already focused on the state. ...
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... 272 The African Court on Human and Peoples' Right -the first pancontinental court of the African Union (AU) for human rights protection -epitomizes the advances made by international courts in Africa in the past decade. 274 The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights form part of the African regional system of human rights, which has its basis on the African Charter on Human Peoples' Rights. 275 The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights established the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights as an organ of implementation of its substantive provision. ...
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