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

Journal of African Law, 63, S1 (2019), 9–38

30 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019

See all articles by Micha Wiebusch

Micha Wiebusch

University of Antwerp - Institute of Development Policy and Management; United Nations - UNU-CRIS; University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Chika Charles Aniekwe

University of Antwerp; Osgoode Hall Law School

Lutz Oette

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - School of Law

Stef Vandeginste

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 14, 2019

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.

Keywords: African Union, African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance, African Governance Architecture (AGA), legalization, technocratization, judicialization

Suggested Citation

Wiebusch, Micha and Aniekwe, Chika Charles and Oette, Lutz and Vandeginste, Stef, The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Past, Present and Future (May 14, 2019). Journal of African Law, 63, S1 (2019), 9–38, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3388178

Micha Wiebusch (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp - Institute of Development Policy and Management ( email )

City campus building S
Lange Sint Annastraat 7
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

United Nations - UNU-CRIS ( email )

Potterierei 72
Brugge, 8000
Belgium

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) ( email )

Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square: College Buildings 541
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Chika Charles Aniekwe

University of Antwerp ( email )

City campus building S
Lange Sint Annastraat 7
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/about-uantwerp/faculties/institute-of-development-policy/

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://nathanson.osgoode.yorku.ca

Lutz Oette

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - School of Law ( email )

Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square: College Buildings 541
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Stef Vandeginste

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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