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The African Court of Justice and Human Rights: A Judicial Curate’s Egg

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The present article analyzes the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the proposed “main judicial organ of the African Union”. The African Court of Justice and Human Rights is meant to replace the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights and would therefore constitute a unique international judicial body combining the jurisdiction of the judicial organ of an intergovernmental organization with the jurisdiction of a regional human rights court. It shares features of the International Court of Justice and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In a highly contentious move detrimental to the role of the International Criminal Court, it is currently proposed to extend its jurisdiction over international crimes, the definition of which goes much further than that currently accepted by the international community, raising the prospect of conflicting obligations. The Court’s governing instruments are too ambitious and contain some significant flaws and the case for doing away with the now operational African Court of Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights seems unconvincing. Even though the Court has not yet been established, its structure and mandate do pose many challenging questions that deserve to be thoroughly investigated by drawing comparisons with the existing similar judicial organs in other international organizations.

Affiliations: 1: a) Researcher in International Law, Great Britain ; 2: b) Associate Professor, Department of Mediterranean Studies University of the Aegean, Greece,


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