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Spring 2024 Course

Regional Integration and Human Rights in Africa

Prerequisite: None

Exam: Any Day Take-home

This course explores key legal instruments and policy frameworks that have shaped the evolution and distinct characteristics of Africa’s continental institutions and regional blocs, with a focus on its human rights structures. The course will cover treaty instruments that inform processes of regional integration, the design of regional courts, and the regional network of human rights enforcement mechanisms, both formal and informal. Students will examine human rights decisions by Africa’s regional courts and explore the development of human rights law on the continent in a comparativist framework. The course also emphasizes i) socio-political features and variables that challenge the human rights landscape in Africa; ii) the pervasive tensions associated with plural normative systems and how this shapes African human rights jurisprudence; iii) the role and impact of civil society movements on integration initiatives; and iv) the institutional dynamics of democratic processes unfolding on the continent. Finally, the course will chart the progression of human rights instruments and the institutions engaged with human rights observance and human rights jurisprudence in Africa.