Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)

PULP is an open-access publisher based at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

African Charter at 30: A guide to the African Human Rights System
ISBN: 978-1-920538033
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

This guide provides an introductory background to the African human rights system in celebration of

  • 30 years since the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, on 28 June 1981
  • 25 years since the entry into force of the African Charter, on 21 October 1986.

The guide provides a brief history to the African Charter, takes stock of the accomplishments of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, its monitoring body, and reflects on future challenges. Although the African Commission has thus far been the primary human rights body in Africa, it has been complemented by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. These bodies and their founding documents, are also discussed to provide a holistic picture of the African human rights system.

This guide has been prepared by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the African Commission. Information in the guide is, as far as possible, correct as at 21 October 2011, the date of its launch.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A cause for celebration
History of the African Charter
Main features of the African Charter
Subsequent standards supplementing the African Charter
The African Commission
Members of the African Commission
Sessions of the African Commission
Some landmark decisions of the Commission
State reporting
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the African Commission
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and the African Commission
Special mechanisms of the Commission
Missions undertaken by the Commission
Resolutions by the African Commission
African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Successes and challenges of the African Charter and Commission
Impact of the African Charter on domestic human rights in Africa
List of abbreviations
Bibliography and sources for further reading

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