Africa and the universality of human rights


Africa and the universality of human rights

by Bertrand G. Ramcharan

(Nijhoff law specials, v. 107)

Brill Nijhoff, c2022

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [255]-259) and index



Africa and the Universality of Human Rights offers a succinct but comprehensive treatment of the human rights systems and machinery applicable in Africa. It consolidates a wide range of materials and sources in a comprehensive way that will be of value to teachers, students, scholars and activists. It makes clear that, notwithstanding difficulties experienced on the ground, African governments, peoples, and institutions together have repeatedly expressed their commitment to the universality of human rights, the corner-stone of the contemporary international order.


  • Foreword Preface Abbreviations 1 Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Corner Stones 1.3 The Peace Architecture of the African Union 1.4 Conclusion 2 Africans Who Shaped Universality 2.1 Introduction 2.2 The Development of Universal Norms 2.3 Self-Determination and the Quest for Justice 2.4 Equality and Non-discrimination 2.5 Universal Implementation of Human Rights 2.6 Conclusion 3 Africa, the United Nations and the Universality of Human Rights 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Obligations under International Law, the Charter and the Universal Declaration 3.3 Universality as an Idea, a Goal, and a Normative Concept 3.3.1 Universality as a Goal 3.3.2 Universality as a Normative Concept 3.4 The Bases of Universality 3.4.1 African States' Participation in UN Organs, such as the Human Rights Council and Its Universal Periodic Review 3.4.2 Constitutional Dimension 3.4.3 Legislative Dimension 3.4.4 Judicial Dimension 3.4.5 Institutional Dimension Monitoring Dimension 3.4.6 Cooperation under UN Human Rights Treaties 3.5 The Jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice Applicable to all Countries, Including in Africa 3.5.1 Obligations Erga Omnes 3.5.2 Jus Cogens 3.5.3 Protection of the Right to Life 3.5.4 Protection of the Environment 3.5.5 The Legality of Nuclear weapons 3.5.6 The Principle of the Non-use of Force 3.5.7 Self-Determination 3.5.8 Prevention of Genocide 3.5.9 The Jurisprudence of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies 3.6 Conclusion 4 The African Commission and Court on Human and Peoples' Rights 4.1 Introduction 4.2 The African Human Rights Commission and the Universality of Human Rights 4.2.1 Protection of the Right to Life: Noah Kazingachire, John Chitsenga, Elias Chemvura and Batanai Hadzisi v. Zimbabwe 4.2.2 Freedom from Torture: Gabriel Shumba v. Zimbabwe 4.2.3 The Right to Liberty and Freedom from Torture: Abdel Hadi, Ali Radi and Others v. Republic of Sudan 4.2.4 The Right to a Fair Trial: Hargewoin Gabre-Selassie and ihrda (on Behalf of Former Derge Officials v. Ethiopia 4.2.5 The Independence of the Judiciary: Tsatsu Tsikata v. Republic of Ghana 4.2.6 The Right to Property: Dino Noca v. Democratic Republic of the Congo 4.3 The African Human Rights Court and the Universality of Human Rights 4.4 The African Protection Concept 4.4.1 General Obligation of the State to Respect, Protect, Promote and Fulfil Rights 4.4.2 The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Margin of Appreciation 4.4.3 The Responsibility to Protect 4.4.4 The Responsibility to Prevent 4.4.5 The Right to a Clean Environment 4.4.6 The Right to Development 4.5 Conclusion 5 The African Union 5.1 Introduction 5.2 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance 5.2.1 Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights 5.2.2 A Culture of Democracy and Peace 5.2.3 Democratic Institutions 5.2.4 Democratic Elections 5.2.5 Political, Economic and Social Governance 5.2.6 Enforcement 5.2.7 Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union 5.2.8 Preventive Diplomacy 5.4 Conclusion 6 Sub-regional Institutions and Courts 6.1 Introduction 6.2 ecowas Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001) 6.3 ecowas and East African Community Courts of Justice 6.3.1 ecowas Community Court of Justice 6.3.2 East African Community and the East African Court of Justice 6.4 igad: Democracy, Governance, Elections, Early Warning 6.5 sadc: Southern African Development Community and eccas: Economic Community of Central African States 6.5.1 sadc Tribunal 6.5.2 eccas : Economic Community of Central African States 6.5.3 eccas : Economic Community of Central African States 6.6 Conclusion 7 National Human Rights Institutions and Courts 7.1 Introduction 7.2 African National Human Rights Institutions (anhri s) 7.3 South African Constitutional Court 7.3.1 Supreme Court of Kenya 7.3.2 Constitutional Court of Malawi 7.4 Conclusion 8 Civil Society 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Kampala Declaration of Human Rights Defenders (2009)
  • Kampala Plan of Action for Human Rights Defenders (2019) 8.3 Harare Declaration of Human Rights 1989 8.4 Civil Society 8.4.1 The Elders' Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security 8.4.2 Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa 8.5 Publicists 8.5.1 An Akan Perspective on Human Rights 8.5.2 The Akan Conception of a Person 8.5.3 The Akan Political System 8.5.4 Rights of Political Participation 8.5.5 The Right to a Fair Trial 8.5.6 The Right to Land 8.5.7 Religious Freedom 8.5.8 African Ubuntu on Human Rights 8.6 Conclusion 9 Conclusion 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Grand Bay Declaration 9.3 Algiers Declaration 9.4 Conclusion Annex i : African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Banjul Charter, 1981) Annex ii : Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa Annex iii : African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Annex iv : Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1998 Annex v : au , African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007) Annex vi : ecowas Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001) Annex vii : oau Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa Annex viii: UN Human Rights Committee General Comment [No. 29] on Article 4 of the iccpr : States of Emergency Bibliography Index

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