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Recent developments in the African human rights system 2004-2006

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This article examines some of the significant institutional and legal developments in the African human rights system between July 2004 and December 2006.1During this period, measured progress was made by the African Union on the establishment of an African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights ('African Court'). The thematic procedures of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights ('Commission') were engaged more extensively than before, culminating in the adoption by the Commission of country resolutions on the situation of human rights in Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These country resolutions generated, for the first time, direct confrontation between the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union ('Assembly') and the Commission at a Summit of the Assembly held in Khartoum in January 2006. As a result, the Commission's 19th Annual Activity Report that had contained these resolutions was embargoed by the Assembly. These resolutions were released later in the 20th Annual Activity Report after Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe had formally responded to the Commission. During the period under review, the Commission also sought to enhance its capacity by reviewing its status, mandate and independence in the framework of the African Union and developed the practice of exposing the imperfect record of periodic reporting by States Parties to the African Charter on Human and the Peoples' Rights 1981 ('African Charter').2 The growing number of individual complaints on the docket of the Commission was also apparent, and three of the Commission's most important decisions made in the period under review are discussed subsequently.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22999/

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