n African Human Rights Law Journal - A study of the African Union's right of intervention against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, G.A. Aneme : recent publications

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The book critically analyses the unprecedented right of the African Union (AU) to intervene in a member state in respect of grave crimes by placing it within the broader context of international law governing intervention. It begins by providing a historical background to the study, defining its methodology and sources of law, and presenting the AU's normative and institutional framework. It then focuses on the principle of the AU providing for the AU's right 'to intervene in a member state pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity' (article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the AU). The book meticulously dissects and discusses the constituent elements of article 4(h), evaluates its 'legality' in international law, and grapples with issues of its operationalisation and application. In the substantive parts of the book, chapter three clarifies the meaning and grounds of the AU's right to intervene and addresses the issue of whether there is a need for a UN Security Council authorisation to implement the right. Chapter four mainly examines the legality of the use of military force against a state under the right of the AU to intervene in light of the prohibition on the use of force under the United Nations (UN) Charter. In a part that deals with the operationalisation of article 4(h), the book discusses the procedure of implementation of the right to intervene and tests its applicability to the atrocities committed in the Darfur region of Sudan.

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