Lunch seminar with Obonye Jonas

The amicus curiae before the African judicial and quasi-judicial bodies

The case dockets of the African human rights judiciary, comprising the African Commission, the African Court and the African Children’s, is steadily growing. In their efforts to stem the tidal wave of human rights excesses in Africa, these bodies have embarked on quasi-constitutional adjudication.

The effects of their decisions are therefore not limited to the record parties but the African Union region at large. In other words, decisions of the African regional adjudicative bodies establish new standards and norms that have persuasive effects not only within the territory of the respondent states, but for all other states in the African region. It is therefore uprising that groups have begun filing amicus briefs before these bodies.

This paper argues that allowing amicus curiae submissions to complement the pleadings and submissions by record parties can assist in judicial analysis and enhance the epistemological quality, intellectual legitimacy and soundness of the legal and factual conclusions of these bodies, particularly given the resource constraints – human, material and otherwise – facing the African regional human rights judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.

All interested are welcome to attend. Registration is not necessary.