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The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Past, Present and Future

  • Micha Wiebusch (a1), Chika Charles Aniekwe (a2), Lutz Oette (a3) and Stef Vandeginste (a2)

Abstract

This article traces a genealogy of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) and examines the charter's overall implementation. While there has always been a struggle between competing views of how to ensure more or less continental accountability for norms related to democratic governance in Africa, enforcement by the African Union (AU) has definitively become more robust since the ACDEG's adoption. The article argues that this development is observable in three trends: continental legalization, technocratization and judicialization of politics. It evaluates the growth of normative commitments in the field of democracy, elections and governance and their increasing consolidation into binding legal treaties; explores the increasing reliance on AU technical assistance in the implementation and interpretation of these instruments; and assesses the expanding role of continental and regional judicial bodies in enforcing commitments to democracy. Building upon a better understanding of these trends, the article identifies key contextual factors that will shape the ACDEG's future implementation.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Footnotes

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*

Associate research fellow, UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies; associate research fellow, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy; research fellow (PhD), School of Law, SOAS University of London.

**

Post-doctoral fellow, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy.

***

Senior lecturer, School of Law, SOAS University of London.

****

Senior lecturer, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy.

Footnotes

References

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1 African governance remains on a moderate upward trajectory”: 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance Report (2018, Mo Ibrahim Foundation) at 17.

2 Draft AU Declaration on Elections, Democracy and Governance (20 February 2003) (copy on file with the authors).

3 Decision of the Meeting of Experts on Elections, Democracy and Governance in Africa (2004), EX.CL/Dec. 124(V).

4 Report of the Interim Chairperson on the Proceedings of the African Conference on Elections, Democracy and Good Governance (2003), EX.CL/35(III) at 12 (copy on file with the authors).

5 Report on the Meeting of Government Experts on the Documents from the Pretoria Conference on Elections, Democracy and Governance (2004), EX.CL/91(V), annex IV at 1 (copy on file with the authors).

6 See, for example, McMahon, ER The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: A Positive Step on a Long Path (2007, Open Society Institute); Matlosa, KThe African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Declaration vs policy practice” (2008) 53 Centre for Policy Studies Policy Brief 1; Glen, PJInstitutionalizing democracy in Africa: A comment on the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2012) 5 African Journal of Legal Studies 119.

7 See, for example, Kane, IThe implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2008) 17/4 African Security Review 43; Ebobrah, ST The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: A New Dawn for the Enthronement of Legitimate Governance in Africa? (2007, Open Society Institute); Saungweme, S A Critical Look at the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Africa (2007, Open Society Institute); Elvy, SATowards a new democratic Africa: The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2013) 27/1 Emory International Law Review 41.

8 See, for example, Tieku, TKMultilateralization of democracy promotion and defense in Africa” (2009) 56/2 Africa Today 75; Ndulo, MThe prohibition of unconstitutional change of government” in Yusuf, AA and Ouguergouz, F (eds) The African Union: Legal and Institutional Framework: A Manual on the Pan-African Organization (2012, Martinus Nijhoff) 251; Vandeginste, SThe African Union, constitutionalism and power sharing” (2013) 57/1 Journal of African Law 1; Wiebusch, M The Role of Regional Organizations in the Protection of Constitutionalism (2016, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance).

9 Omorogbe, YA club of incumbents? The African Union and coups d’état” (2011) 44/123 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 123; Souaré, IThe African Union as a norm entrepreneur on military coups d’état in Africa (1952–2012): An empirical assessment” (2014) 52/1 Journal of Modern African Studies 69.

10 See SA Dersso “The status and legitimacy of popular uprisings in the AU norms on democracy and constitutional governance” and P Manirakiza “Towards a right to resist gross undemocratic practices in Africa”, both in this issue.

11 See M Wiebusch and C Murray “Presidential term limits and the African Union” in this issue.

12 A list of the signature, ratification, accession and deposit status of all (O)AU treaties, conventions, protocols and charters is available at: <https://au.int/en/treaties> (last accessed 9 January 2019).

13 See also ACDEG, art 52, which provides: “None of the provisions of the present Charter shall affect more favourable provisions [contained] in national legislation [or other applicable] regional, continental or international conventions.”

14 van Walraven, K Dreams of Power: The Role of the Organization of African Unity in the Politics of Africa, 1963–1993 (1999, Ashgate).

15 Tieku, TKExplaining the clash and accommodation of interests of major actors in the creation of the African Union” (2004) 103 African Affairs 249; Welz, M Integrating Africa: Decolonization's Legacies, Sovereignty and the African Union (2012, Routledge).

16 Lecoutre, DVers un gouvernement de l'Union Africaine? Maximalistes vs gradualistes” [Towards an African Union government? Maximalistes v gradualists] (2007) 147 Institute for Security Studies Paper 1; Witt, AThe African Union and contested political order(s)” in Engel, U and Porto, J Gomes (eds) Africa's New Peace and Security Architecture: Continental Embeddedness, Transnational Linkages, Strategic Relevance (2013, Ashgate) 11.

17 Elvy “Towards a new democratic Africa”, above at note 7.

18 Huneeus, A and Madsen, MBetween universalism and regional law and politics: A comparative history of the American, European, and African human rights systems” (2018) 16/1 International Journal of Constitutional Law 136 at 149.

19 African Charter (1981), preamble.

20 Id, art 13.

21 African Charter, art 2. ACDEG, art 8.

22 African Charter, art 3. ACDEG, art 10(3).

23 African Charter, art 9. ACDEG, art 27(8).

24 African Charter, art 17. ACDEG, art 43.

25 African Charter, art 24. ACDEG, art 42.

26 African Charter, art 23. ACDEG, art 38.

27 See International Commission of Jurists “Law of Lagos” (1961) 3/1 Journal of International Commission of Jurists 9, para 4.

28 Viljoen, FThe African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The travaux préparatoires in the light of subsequent practice” (2004) 24/9–12 Human Rights Law Journal 313 at 316.

29 For an account that argues that the ACHPR findings can be seen as legally binding, see Viljoen, F and Louw, LThe status of the findings of the African Commission: From moral persuasion to legal obligation” (2004) 48/1 Journal of African Law 1.

30 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court (1998). See, for example, Udombana, NJToward the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Better late than never” (2000) 3/1 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 45.

31 African Charter, art 62. ACDEG, art 49.

32 African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1968, entered into force in 1969), art 16. This convention was revised in 2003, but has not yet entered into force. See art 29 for the reporting procedure.

33 Later state reporting mechanisms were included in other human rights instruments and states are required to report to the ACHPR on those respective instruments as part of the Banjul Charter reporting procedure. These instruments include the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa. Other legal instruments established a separate entity to which state parties have to report: the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in respect of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; the African Commission on Nuclear Energy in respect of the African Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty; and the AU Advisory Board on Corruption in respect of the Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

34 Declaration of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the Political and Socio-Economic Situation in Africa and the Fundamental Changes Taking Place in the World, AHG/Decl.1 (XXVI) (1990).

35 Report of the Secretary General on the Fundamental Changes Taking Place in the World and their Implications for Africa: Proposals for an African Response (CM/1592) (1990), para 39 (copy on file with the authors).

36 Declaration on Fundamental Changes, above at note 34, para 2.

37 Report of the Secretary General on the Fundamental Changes, above at note 35, para 58.

38 Declaration on Fundamental Changes, above at note 34, para 2: “We are fully aware that in order to facilitate this process of socio-economic transformation and integration, it is necessary to promote popular participation of our peoples in the processes of government and development. A permitting political environment which guarantees human rights and the observance of the rule of law, would ensure high standards of probity and accountability, particularly on the part of those who hold public office. In addition, popular-based political processes would ensure the involvement of all including in particular women and youth in the development efforts. We accordingly recommit ourselves to the further democratization of our societies and to the consolidation of democratic institutions in our countries.”

39 Constitutive Act of the AU (2000), preamble and art 4(m): “respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good governance”.

40 ACDEG, preamble.

41 Report of the Secretary General on Strengthening the Role of the OAU / AU in Elections, Observations and Monitoring and the Advancement of the Democratization Process in Africa, CM/2257 (LXXVI) (2002) at 1 (copy on file with the authors).

43 Id at 8.

44 Report on the Meeting of Government Experts, above at note 5, annex A at 6.

46 ACDEG, art 19 stipulates: “Each State Party shall inform the Commission of scheduled elections and invite it to send an electoral observer mission.” (emphasis added)

47 Karume, S and Mura, EReflections on African Union electoral assistance and observation” in Cordenillo, R and Ellis, A (eds) The Integrity of Elections: The Role of Regional Organizations (2012, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) 21 at 30.

49 Cairo Declaration, paras 17–18.

50 Report of the OAU Central Organ Sub-Committee on the Preparation of a Blue Print for Dealing with Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa (sub-cttee/central organ/rpt (III)) (1995) (copy on file with the authors).

51 See above at note 8.

52 OAU Charter, art III(5).

53 See van Walraven Dreams of Power, above at note 14 at 112 and 133.

54 Mercenarism Convention, preamble read in conjunction with art 1(2).

55 ECM/Res. 17 (1970) (copy on file with the authors).

56 Resolution on the Activities of Mercenaries in Zimbabwe and Namibia and against the Front-Line States, CM/Res 695(XXXII) (1979) (copy on file with the authors).

57 Resolution on the Mercenary Aggression against the Republic of Seychelles, CM/Res.906 (XXXVIII) (1982).

58 Declaration on Equatorial Guinea, Assembly/AU/Dec.37(III) Rev.1 (2004).

59 ACDEG, art 23(2).

60 Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (2014) (Malabo Protocol), art 28H.

61 See Report of the OAU Central Organ Sub-Committee on the Preparation of a Blue Print for Dealing With Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, SUB-CTTEE/CENTRAL ORGAN/RPT (III) (1995) (copy on file with the authors).

62 Report of the Secretary General on the Implementation of the Algiers Decisions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, CM/2166(LXXII)Rev.2 (2000), annex D (copy on file with the authors).

63 These definitions were later reproduced in the ACDEG; see art 23(1)–(4).

64 Report of the Secretary General on the Implementation of the Algiers Decisions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, CM/2166(LXXII)Rev.2 (2000), annex D (copy on file with the authors).

65 Report of the Ministerial Meeting on the Draft African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and on the Revision of the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, EX.CL/258(IX) (2006), paras 40–44 (copy on file with the authors).

66 ACDEG, art 23(5). See Wiebusch and Murray “Presidential term limits”, above at note 11.

67 See “Unconstitutional changes of governments and popular uprisings in Africa: Challenges and lessons learnt”, (PSC press statement, PSC/PR/BR (CDXXXII), 2014) and “Peace, security, prosperity and embracing the value of democracy and governance: Is the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance adequate?” (PSC press statement PSC/PR/BR (DCCXCI), 2018). See also Dersso “The status and legitimacy of popular uprisings”, above at note 10; Manirakiza “Towards a right to resist”, above at note 10; and Wiebusch and Murray “Presidential term limits”, above at note 11.

68 See Dersso and Manirakiza, ibid.

69 See Wiebusch and Murray “Presidential term limits”, above at note 11.

70 ACDEG, art 4.

71 Id, art 38.

72 Id, art 5.

73 Id, art 9.

74 While the focus here lies at the continental level, similar trends have been discussed in a more general “international” sense. See, for example, Goldstein, J, Kahler, M, Keohane, RO and Slaughter, AMIntroduction: Legalization and world politics” (2000) 54/3 International Organization 385; Kennedy, D A World of Struggle: How Power, Law, and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy (2016, Princeton University Press); and Alter, K The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (2014, Princeton University Press). The framework of legalization, technocratization and judicialization is inspired by the concept of “regional constitutionalism”, developed by Cebulak and Wiebusch, which draws on a similar structure to explore and interrogate possible tensions and channels of interaction between regional organizations and constitutional law; see P Cebulak and M Wiebusch “Comparative regional constitutionalism: Towards a research agenda” (paper presented at the International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) Conference on Borders, Otherness and Public Law, Berlin, 17–19 June 2016).

75 An overview of different AU treaties is available at: <https://au.int/en/treaties> (last accessed 10 January 2019).

76 See ACDEG, arts 2(10), 3(7)–(9), 27(4)–(5), 32(1) and 33(1)–(3).

77 See African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development, preamble and arts 2 and 7.

78 ACDEG, art 25(5).

79 The Malabo Protocol (above at note 60) also establishes the jurisdiction of an African court for piracy, corruption and terrorism, among other international crimes. As of January 2019, 11 countries had signed the protocol, but none had yet ratified it. The protocol only enters into force after the deposit of instruments of ratification by 15 member states.

80 Id, art 28E. This definition appears to be transplanted from the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001), art 2(1).

81 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna Convention), art 2(1)(b).

82 Abbott, KW and Snidal, DHard and soft law in international governance” (2000) 54/3 International Organization 421 at 426.

83 On the understanding of “coercive enforcement” as an imposition of costs on violators of international law to foster compliance, see Thompson, ACoercive enforcement of international law” in Dunoff, JL and Pollack, MA (eds) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art (2012, Cambridge University Press) 502.

84 Maluwa, TRatification of African Union treaties by member states: Law, policy and practice” (2012) 13/2 Melbourne Journal of International Law 1 at 40. In 2012 the Executive Council also established a Ministerial Committee and a Standing Committee of Experts to address the “challenges of ratification / accession and implementation of OAU / AU treaties”, EX.CL/Dec. 705 (XXI). The Department of Legal Affairs of the AU Commission (Office of the Legal Counsel) has also organized various training sessions to build the capacity of national legislative drafters and to promote the domestic implementation of AU treaties.

85 See, for example, Mangu, AAfrican civil society and the promotion of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2012) 12 African Human Rights Law Journal 348; Gilbert, SThe campaign to promote the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Insights into advocacy on the African continent” (2013) U4 Practice Insight 3.

86 Decision on the Resurgence of the Scourge of Coups d'Etat in Africa, Assembly/AU/Dec.220(XII) (2009).

87 Interim Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Prevention of Unconstitutional Changes of Government Through Appropriate Measures and Strengthening the Capacity of the African Union to Manage Such Situations, Assembly/AU/7(XIII) (2009) at 15 (copy on file with the authors).

88 Decision on the Prevention of Unconstitutional Changes of Government and Strengthening the Capacity of the African Union to Manage Such Situations, Assembly/AU/Dec.269(XIV) Rev.1 (2010).

89 See, for example, statement by HE Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the AU Commission, on the occasion of the commemoration of Africa Human Rights Day under the theme, “Women's rights: Our collective responsibility” (21 October 2016), available at: <https://au.int/en/newsevents/31522/commemoration-africa-human-rights-day> (last accessed 10 January 2019).

90 See above at note 8.

91 See ACDEG, arts 18, 44(2)(A)(c) and 45(b).

92 Chayes, A, Chayes, A Handler and Mitchell, RBManaging compliance: A comparative perspective” in Weiss, B and Jacobson, H (eds) Engaging Countries: Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords (1998, MIT Press) 39 at 60.

93 Kennedy A World of Struggle, above at note 74 at 7.

94 Decision on the Theme, Date and Venue of the 16th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, Assembly/AU/Dec.304(XV) (2010).

95 Rules of Procedure of the African Governance Platform (2016), rule 1.

96 Id, rule 3. The platform is the AGA's institutional mechanism and comprises the APRM, ACHPR, ACtHPR, AU Commission, PSC, African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, AU Advisory Board on Corruption, AU Commission on International Law, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Pan-African Parliament, regional economic communities and any other existing AU organ or institution that may be given the mandate or established by the Assembly to promote governance, democracy and human rights (id, rule 2).

97 Id, rule 3. See also ACDEG, arts 44, 45 and 49.

98 ACDEG, art 49(1).

99 “Guidelines for state parties’ reports under the ACDEG” (2016) in Rules of Procedure of the African Governance Platform, annex 1, available at: <http://aga-platform.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/Rules%20Of%20Procedure%20FINAL.pdf> (last accessed 21 February 2019).

100 “Togo, first AU member state to submit state report on African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (AU press statement 044/2017, 27 March 2017), available at: <https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20170327/togo-first-au-member-state-submit-state-report-african-charter-democracy> (last accessed 10 January 2019).

101 Theoretically, several states should already have reported twice (for example, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Sudan) or three times (for example, Benin, Malawi and Nigeria), as they ratified the ACDEG more than four and six years ago, respectively.

102 “Guidelines for state parties’ reports”, above at note 99, para 32.

103 ACDEG, art 49(3).

104 “Guidelines for state parties’ reports”, above at note 99, para 36.

105 See Decision on Report of the Commission on Governance in Africa (with Focus on the African Governance Architecture and Elections), Assembly/AU/Dec.585(XXV) (2015) and Decision on Governance, Constitutionalism and Elections in Africa, Assembly/AU/Dec.592(XXVI) (2016).

106 Chayes, Handler Chayes and Mitchell “Managing compliance”, above at note 92.

107 See also ACDEG, art 44(2)(A)(b), concerning the objective of harmonizing the policies and laws of state parties to promote favourable conditions for democratic governance.

108 Chayes, Handler Chayes and Mitchell “Managing compliance”, above at note 92 at 41.

109 Although the APRM assesses four domains of governance, ACDEG provisions are most closely associated with the APRM's democracy and political governance mandate, rather than the three other thematic areas it assesses (economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development). Although the ACDEG touches upon these areas, they are generally not considered to be its main focus, especially since these areas are regulated in more detail in other AU instruments.

110 The APRM is also a member of the African Governance Platform. See above at note 96.

111 APRM Country Review Report of Benin (2008) at 77. See for example ACDEG, arts 3(4) and 17.

112 APRM Country Review Report of Benin, id at 79. See for example ACDEG, arts 2(3) and 23(5).

113 APRM Country Review Report of Nigeria (2009) at 18. See for example ACDEG, art 12(1).

114 Id, art 21(2). See Aniekwe, CC and Atuobi, SMTwo decades of election observation by the African Union: A review” (2016) 15/1 Journal of African Elections 25 at 32–33.

115 ACDEG, art 20.

116 Decision on the Establishment and Organization of a Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit and Fund, EX.CL/Dec.300 (IX) (2006). The DEAU was established in 2006 and became fully operationalized in 2008.

117 See, for example, “African Union BRIDGE training for the Independent National Electoral Commission opens today in Antananarivo, Republic of Madagascar” (6 October 2018), available at: <https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20161006-0> (last accessed 10 January 2019); “African Union Commission convenes 4th annual continental forum of election management bodies” (8 November 2017), available at: <https://au.int/en/pressreleases/20171108/african-union-commission-convenes-4th-annual-continental-forum-election> (last accessed 10 January 2019).

118 See, for example, PSC Communiqué of the 747th Meeting (18 January 2018), AU doc PSC/PR/COMM (DCCXLVII).

119 See, for example, PSC Communiqué of the 589th Meeting (12 April 2016), AU doc PSC/PR/COMM (DLXXXIX) and PSC Press Statement of the 791st Meeting (22 August 2018), AU doc PSC/PR/BR (DCCXCI).

120 Actions pour la Protection des Droits de l'Homme (APDH) v Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, (APDH v Côte d'Ivoire) appln no 001/2014, paras 47–65. See G Niyungeko “The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as a human rights instrument” in this issue.

121 See B Kioko “The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as a justiciable instrument” in this issue.

122 Hirschl, RThe judicialization of politics” in Caldeira, GA, Kelemen, RD and Whittington, KE (eds) The Oxford Handbook  of Law and Politics (2008, Oxford University Press) 119 at 119.

123 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court (1998) (Court Protocol), art 3(1).

124 APDH v Côte d'Ivoire, above at note 120, paras 57–65.

125 ACDEG, art 25(5).

126 Report of the Ministerial Meeting on the Draft African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and on the Revision of the Lomé Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, EX.CL/258(IX) (2006) (copy on file with the authors).

127 Malabo Protocol, art 17.

128 Hirschl “The judicialization of politics”, above at note 122 at 126.

129 The ACtHPR established that “an electoral body is independent where it has administrative and financial autonomy; and offers sufficient guarantees of its members’ independence and impartiality”: APDH v Côte d'Ivoire, above at note 120, para 118.

130 See Tanganyika Law Society and Legal and Human Rights Centre and Reverend Christopher R Mtikila v United Republic of Tanzania (Mtikila v Tanzania) appln nos 009 and 011/2011.

131 Congrès pour la Démocratie et le Progrès (CDP) et Autres v l'Etat du Burkina ECOWAS Court of Justice judgment no ECW/CCJ/JUG/16/15. Remarkably, the applicants in this case also invoked a violation of the ACDEG. However, the court did not explicitly base its ruling on the ACDEG.

132 Court Protocol, art 4(1).

133 Ibid.

134 Rencontre Africain pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme, request no 002/2014.

135 Id, paras 38–39.

136 Jones, AForm over substance: The African Court's restrictive approach to NGO standing in the SERAP advisory opinion” (2017) 17 African Human Rights Law Journal 321.

137 Better elections, but not a better participatory environment”: 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance Report (2018, Mo Ibrahim Foundation) at 40.

138 See Kioko “The African Charter”, above at note 121.

139 For current purposes, included in this understanding is the act of “accession”, as it has the same legal effects as ratification. See Vienna Convention, art 2(1)(b).

140 CC Aniekwe, L Oette, S Vandeginste and M Wiebusch “Policy brief on the 10th anniversary of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2017) at 8, available at: <https://www.uantwerpen.be/images/uantwerpen/container2673/files/PolicyBrief-AfricanCharter.pdf> (last accessed 10 January 2019).

141 Vienna Convention, arts 12 and 18.

142 ACDEG, arts 2, 3, 17 and 32(7).

143 Id, arts 2, 3 and 29. For an analysis of the implementation of the ACDEG specifically in relation to gender dimensions, see N Abdulmelik and T Belay “Advancing women's political rights in Africa: The promise and potential of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2019) Africa Spectrum (forthcoming).

144 Evans, M and Murray, RThe state reporting mechanism of the African Charter” in Evans, M and Murray, R (eds) The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The System in Practice 1986–2006 (2008, Cambridge University Press) 49.

145 See in respect of developments on UN treaty reporting mechanisms in this regard, Bantekas, I and Oette, L International Human Rights Law and Practice (2018, Cambridge University Press) at 205–08.

146 “Guidelines for state parties’ reports”, above at note 99, para 34.

147 Legler, T and Tieku, TKWhat difference can a path make? Regional democracy promotion regimes in the Americas and Africa” (2010) 17/3 Democratization 465 at 481.

148 Court Protocol, arts 5(3) and 34(6).

149 See A Witt “Where regional norms matter: Contestation and the domestic impact of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” (2019) Africa Spectrum (forthcoming).

150 See A Witt “Whose charter? How civil society makes (not) use of the African Democracy Charter” (2019) PRIF Spotlight (forthcoming).

151 Goldstein et al “Introduction”, above at note 74 at 391.

152 Kahler, MConclusion: The causes of and consequences of legalization” (2000) 54/3 International Organization 661 at 675.

153 For an analysis of the influence of regime types (liberal vs illiberal democracies) on the implementation of ACDEG, see U Engel “The 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Trying to make sense of late ratification and non-implementation of compliance mechanisms” (2019) Africa Spectrum (forthcoming).

154 Daly, TG and Wiebusch, MThe African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Mapping resistance against a young court” (2018) 14/2 International Journal of Law in Context 294.

155 Madsen, M, Cebulak, P and Wiebusch, MBacklash against international courts: Explaining the forms and patterns of resistance to international courts” (2018) 14/2 International Journal of Law in Context 197.

156 See E De Groof and M Wiebusch (eds) International Law and Transitional Governance (forthcoming, Routledge); Paris, RInternational peacebuilding and the ‘mission civilisatrice’” (2002) 28/4 Review of International Studies 637.

* Associate research fellow, UN University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies; associate research fellow, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy; research fellow (PhD), School of Law, SOAS University of London.

** Post-doctoral fellow, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy.

*** Senior lecturer, School of Law, SOAS University of London.

**** Senior lecturer, University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy.

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