The East African Court of Justice: Towards Effective Protection of Human Rights in the East African Community
Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, Volume 17, 2013, p.173-195
23 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 14, 2013
Human rights in Africa are under the microscope of regional and sub-regional mechanisms. The regional mechanism is under the auspices of the African Union (AU), in which human rights come under the scrutiny of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Sub-regional organizations, established as Regional Economic Communities (RECs), have recently developed their own jurisprudence in promoting and protecting human rights through their institutions. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have emerged as front runners in realizing human rights in African sub-regional organizations. The EAC is an intergovernmental organization which aims at improving the living standards of its citizens through cooperation in economic, social and political aspects among its Partner States. The principles governing the operations of the EAC in meeting its objectives include the promotion and protection of human rights. The EAC has established the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), tasked with interpreting and ensuring the application of the EAC Treaty. This article pinpoints key challenges that the EACJ is currently encountering and tries to find possible solutions which can improve the functioning of the EACJ to effectively protect human rights in the Community.
Keywords: East African court of justice; East African community; human rights; sub-regional courts; sub-regional organizations
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