n African Human Rights Law Journal - The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights' order in respect of the situation in Libya : a watershed in the regional protection of human rights?

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The article considers the significant features of the order rendered by the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in respect of the situation in Libya after protests that began on 16 February 2011. During the first weeks of the unrest, the government of Libya responded to protests across the country in a highhanded and violent manner, further worsening the situation which escalated even further to a more serious level of human rights violations. The applicants - human rights organisations - petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in respect of the deteriorating circumstances that were unfolding across Libya. The African Commission did not grant provisional measures; instead it referred the matter to the African Court. The Court swiftly responded to the African Commission's petition by granting an order for provisional measures. This note looks at features of the Court's order and reflects on its significance. Beyond this matter, the article looks at the relationship between the Court and the Commission and highlights lessons from the Inter-American regional system from which stakeholders within the African system could draw. It also looks at what the emergence of the African Court means to various stakeholders in the region.

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