n African Human Rights Law Journal - Human rights developments in African sub-regional economic communities during 2011 : recent developments

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



During 2011 there were both negative and positive developments in the human rights work of African sub-regional economic communities. From the negative perspective, the travails of the Southern Africa Development Community Tribunal in 2011 stand out as the most notorious as they brought about a limitation in the effectiveness of this erstwhile budding human rights regime in Southern Africa. Arguably, as a consequence of the suspension of the Tribunal, there was very little human rights activity from Southern Africa to report on. Thus, the focus in this contribution is squarely on developments that occurred in the human rights regimes in East Africa and West Africa. Significantly, there was an increase in human rights litigation activity before the sub-regional courts in both regions. Activities in the judicial sector and other non-juridical human rights activities in the respective regimes of the East African Community and the Economic Community of West African States are analysed critically in this contribution. Developments during 2011 demonstrate the growing confidence of actors and institutions in the human rights regimes of the two sub-regions.

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