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Backlash Against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa

  • Laurence R. Helfer (a1)

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In a working paper based on extensive field research and interviews, Karen Alter, James Gathii, and I analyze three recent backlash attempts against sub-regional courts in East, West, and Southern Africa. Our paper analyzes credible proposals by African governments to restrict the jurisdiction of these courts in response to politically embarrassing rulings. These events are not widely known, and they are at odds with the prevailing view that it is difficult to sanction international judges.

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1 Karen J. Alter, James Thuo Gathii, and Laurence R. Helfer, Backlash Against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa: Causes and Consequences (iCourts Working Paper Series, Working Paper No. 21, May 12, 2015), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2591837.

2 Supplementary Protocol A/SP1/01/05 Amending the Preamble and Articles 1, 2, 9 and 30 of Protocol (A/P.1/ 7/91) Relating to the Community Court of Justice and Article 4 Paragraph 1 of the English Version of Said Protocol (Jan. 19, 2005), arts. 3–4.

3 Manneh v. The Gambia, ECW/CCJ/JUD/03/08 (ECOWAS Court of Justice, June 5, 2008); Saidykhan v. The Gambia, ECW/CCJ/APP/11/07, Judgment (Dec. 16, 2010).

4 Nyong’o v Attorney General of Kenya, Reference No. 1 of 2006 at 3 (Nov. 27, 2006), at http://www.saflii.org/ea/cases/EACJ/2006/3.pdf.

5 Campbell and Others v. Zimbabwe (Merits), Case No. SADC (T) 2/2007 (Nov. 28, 2008).

6 Gerhard Erasmus, The New Protocol for the SADC Tribunal: Jurisdictional Changes and Implications for SADC Community Law, (TRALAC Working Paper No. US15WP/2015, Jan. 2015), at http://www.tralac.org/publications/article/6900-the-new-protocol-for-the-sadc-tribunal-jurisdictional-changes-and-implications-for-sadc-community-law.html#downloads.

Backlash Against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa

  • Laurence R. Helfer (a1)

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