The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights: Mapping Resistance against a Young Court

Item Reference: 
iCourts Working Paper 119
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts
Series Title: 
ICourts Working Paper Series
Working Paper Type: 

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.

International Human Rights Law; Sociology of Law; African Union; African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights; Backlash against International Courts