n African Human Rights Law Journal - Human rights developments in African sub-regional economic communities during 2012 : recent developments

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



In 2012, the abolition of individual access to the Southern Africa Development Community Tribunal all but put a final nail to the budding human rights regime that was growing in the region. However, the two other main sub-regional human rights regimes in Africa continued to grow from strength to strength: in East Africa under the East African Community framework and in West Africa under the Economic Community of West African States framework. With the increasing involvement of these sub-regional regimes in the field of human rights, the African Charter is being applied in an unprecedented way in a manner that penetrates the shield of national sovereignty and in areas where continental human rights structures may have taken time to reach. Taking the view that this trend calls for stakeholders to pay more attention to the work of these sub-regional human rights regimes in order to ensure quality control and maintain legitimacy of the overall African human rights system, this contribution undertakes a descriptive analysis of the most significant judicial and non-juridical human rights developments that occurred in these sub-regions during 2012.

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