Non-Participation in the Communications Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Authors Japhet Biegon

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: None
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2014, Issue 1, p. 1 – 29


For close to three decades now, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has served as the continental human rights supervisory mechanism in Africa. During this period, the African Commission has been instrumental in interpreting the Charter rights through its inter-State and individual communications procedure. However, while much has been written about this procedure, little attention has been paid to the implications of non-participation of parties in the procedure. This article examines this phenomenon with a view to demonstrating that there are direct and indirect links between non-participation of parties and the weakness and inefficiency that has come to be associated with the work of the African Commission. In particular, the article shows that non-participation has had the effect of delaying the decision-making process of the African Commission, undermined the quality of its jurisprudence, and contributed to non-compliance with the decisions of the body.