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Introduction: The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance at 10

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

Extract

On various continents, intergovernmental organizations resort to legal engineering in order to promote democratic governance in their member states. Those legal efforts operate in a fluctuating political and societal environment, which they seek to transform but which, in turn, shapes the authority, the effectiveness and even the very nature of the legal instruments. As this Special Issue shows, this process of mutual influencing between law and context as interdependent variables also applies to the African Union's (AU) landmark instrument for democratic governance promotion. Roughly one decade after the adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), fascinating developments, challenges and questions have emerged, some of which were arguably not anticipated by its drafters. For example, who envisaged that the ACDEG might become a justiciable instrument before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights? In the wake of popular uprisings in response to gross undemocratic practices, what normative guidance does the ACDEG offer in response to such developments?

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

2 Africa Spectrum is published by the GIGA Institute of African Affairs in Hamburg and the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg and is available at: <https://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/afsp> (last accessed 10 December 2018).

3 IOB “The norms and practices of the African Union on the promotion of constitutional governance: A legal analysis”, available at: <https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/researchgroups/iob/projects/norms-practices-africanunion/> (last accessed 10 December 2018).

* 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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Journal of African Law
  • ISSN: 0021-8553
  • EISSN: 1464-3731
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-african-law
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