n African Human Rights Law Journal - The rule of law : approaches of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and selected African states

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



The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is empowered to promote and protect human rights in Africa. Although the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights does not expressly use the phrase 'rule of law', the African Commission has interpreted its mandate under the African Charter as allowing it to promote and protect the rule of law in Africa. The article looks at four mechanisms through which the African Commission has attempted to promote the rule of law - in its resolutions, individual communications, promotional missions and through the periodic reports of state parties to the African Charter. The article shows that the African Commission has given different meanings to the concept of the rule of law. The article shows that, in their periodic reports to the African Commission, different African states have different understandings of the rule of law and have taken different measures to promote the rule of law in their jurisdictions. What is apparent is that the promotion and protection of human rights are crucial elements in rule of law discourse.

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