Economic Community of West African States

Book Review: The Performance of Africa's International Courts: Using Litigation for Political, Legal and Social Change

The Performance of Africa’s International Courts published under the International Court and Tribunals Series of Oxford University Press, should quickly become a canonical text for all scholars of international adjudication, and especially those of them concerned with its nature, uses and impact in Africa. The book’s editor (Prof. Gathii) and contributors make a significant contribution to “a second wave” of scholarship on Africa’s International courts. Previous scholarship on these courts had tended to focus on their potential to advance legal integration across the continent and offer human rights protection, and their evolution from full-time regional economic integration institutions to part-time human rights protection bodies.

Book Review: The Performance of Africa's International Courts, Using Litigation for Political, Legal and Social Change

The fact that Africa hosts the largest number of international courts and tribunals in the world warrants a closer review of their effectiveness. Previous scholarship has assessed these courts’ and tribunals’ effectiveness through the prism of compliance with their decisions. There has been little analysis of the wider impact that the courts and tribunals have on litigants, on the social, political and economic progress in the State concerned and on the values that the states that establish these courts seek to uphold and protect. This volume by African researchers with a record of writing on these courts and tribunals espouses a more nuanced Afro-centric approach which will serve as a further stimulus to analysing this important topic.

Book Review: The Performance of Africa's International Courts: Using Litigation for Political, Legal and Social Change

Even though Africa has proven to be a fertile ground for testing international legal regimes, most scholarly accounts remain pessimistic in assessing these experiments. This book seeks to counter these depictions in a manner consistent with epistemologies of the Global South - arguing that theories and concepts developed in the Global North do not transfer with ease to other regional settings and prompts scholars to identify alternative ways of knowing

A Venue or a Decision Maker? The Constitutional Function of African Regional Courts

While exercising constitutional function, one  may suggest the use of some avoidance tactics discussed here. Doing justice in individual case might require court orders with robust remedies. How to master the splits? Clearly, the book does not only answer such pertinent research questions, it also opens new fields for research. It is a must read for everybody interested in regional integration, constitutional law and access to justice in Africa.

Book Review Symposium Introduction: The Performance of Africa's International Courts: Using International Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, OUP, 2020 edited by James Thuo Gathii

I got very interested in Africa’s international courts more than a decade ago when I was writing a book on Africa’s trade regimes. I was surprised to learn that Africa’s international courts, although established as trade courts had ended up being human rights courts. I soon realized that the first generation of scholarship on Africa’s international courts had transplanted analytical tools for assessing their performance that did not showcase the entirety of their impacts. The moment between that realization and The Performance of Africa’s International Courts: Using International Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, OUP, 2020 was a long five years. This book project has therefore come a long way from April 2016 when I hosted an authors’ workshop.

Review IV: Energy Poverty and Access Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Regionalism

November 6, 2020

Analyzed from a regionalism perspective, Nalule’s book focuses on energy poverty and access challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Nalule highlights the significance of energy for household, commercial and industrialization purposes in the region while pointing out the challenges stemming from the scarcity of it. The book goes on to stress the pivotal role of a regionalism approach as a strategy for resolving the effects of the energy access conundrum in the region.

Acknowledgement from Prof. Eleanor Fox and Dr. Mor Bakhoum to the Contributors of our "Making Markets Work for Africa" (OUP, 2019) Symposium

We are keenly following the unfolding developments in Nigeria and in the sub-Saharan countries that are on the cusp of adopting competition laws, and of course the developments in the AfCFTA as well as ECOWAS/WAEMU and other regionals. We hope to engage with these developments, and hope that our book can provide some insights and a perspective; a building block for moving forward towards a Voice for Africa.

Competition law and policy as a tool for development: a review of Making Markets Work for Africa: Markets, Development, and Competition Law in sub-Saharan Africa by Eleanor Fox and Mor Bakhoum

Fox and Bakhoum’s fairly broad analysis focusing on West, East, and Southern African countries brings to fore the real challenges at play in Africa. It is a fragmented, stratified yet at times vertically united legal and policy landscape. While they observe the need for convergence of competition law at the continental or regional level, they note the different states of developmental progress among sub-Saharan African countries hence concede the need for the fragmented approach