The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as a Justiciable Instrument

  • Citation: Kioko, Ben. “The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as a Justiciable Instrument.” Journal of African Law 63 (May 2019): 39–61.
    • Topics:
    • Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
    • justiciability
    • human rights
    • democracy
    • elections
    • African Charter on Democracy
    • elections
    • governance

The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance requires state parties to establish and strengthen democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights and independent electoral systems. However, the extent to which these provisions can be invoked by individuals and non-governmental organizations before a court of law is uncertain. It is also unclear whether such provisions guarantee “stand-alone” individual rights and as such whether the charter could be considered to be a human rights instrument. This article seeks to analyse whether the charter is a human rights instrument, as well as examining its justiciability in light of the decision of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in APDH v Côte d’Ivoire. The analysis highlights the court’s decision affirming that the charter is a human rights instrument and that individuals and non-governmental organizations can file cases in a court of law seeking its enforcement.

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