"The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an African Union (AU) mandated programme whose main focus is to address key social, economic, and political issues for the African continent. Within the NEPAD programme and vision is the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which has been described as a system of self-assessment, constructive peer dialogue, persuasion, and sharing of experience among member states of the African Union. The APRM is the execution mechanism for NEPAD, whose mandate is to monitor the preformance of states in different programme areas including human rights. The mandate on human rights monitoring falls within the political governance component of the NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance (NEPAD Declaration). The APRM has been introduced with a human rights monitoring component in a context where there already exist a number of other human rights mechanisms and institutions such as the African Commission. The proposed processes of the APRM in monitoring human rights in some ways resemble those of the African Commission while at the same time there are major differences between these mechanisms. For example, while the Africa Commission is a quasi-judicial body, which engages in legal processes, the APRM is a political process where heads of state are among the main actors. Some analysts have expressed the view that the creation of the APRM as a political process adds a vital component to the human rights monitoring in Africa which, since the creation of the African Commission, has remained purely legal and thus had limited success in ensuring human rights protection in Africa. While some have shared their doubt over the added value and role of the APRM in human rights monitoring, others have hailed it for providing a forum where heads of state will make political commitments for the protection of human rights. In this regard, the aim of this study is to analyse the role that the APRM will play in human rights monitoring in Africa. This analysis is done in relation to the work that is being done by the African Commission and the challenges that it has confonted over the years. In analysing the role of the APRM in human rights monitoring, this study unpacks the concept of peer review and analyse its practical implementation in Africa, especially in the field of human rights. This study also explores the implications on human rights protection and promotion of the co-existence of the African Commission and the APRM. ... Chapter 1 states the research questions/hypothesis, objectives of the study, relevance of study and literature review. It also looks at the scope and limitations of the study. Chapter 2 gives background information to the concept of peer review, how it is used in ensuring compliance with set standards by states and organisation. An analysis of the use of peer review by other international organisations is done. Further it gives an analysis of the APRM with a specific focus on its human rights monitoring role. Chapter 3 provides a brief background of the African Commission, its mandate and the challenges confronting it in its work. Thereafter there is an analysis of the challenges of the APRM in human rights monitoring and protection. Furthermore, the chapter critically analyses and evaluates peer review and its application in human rights monitoring in Africa. This chapter also highlights the similarities, overlaps and differences in the work and mandate of the APRM and the African Commission. Chapter 4 is the concluding chapter, which also provides recommendations for enhancing the efficiency and the co-operation of the APRM and the African Commission." -- Chapter 1.
Under the supervision of Prof. Christof Heyns at the University of Pretoria
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2003.