"The scale of human rights abuses on the continent is undisputedly high. The irony is that most constitutions contain express provisions for the protection and promotion of human rights and for the independence of the judiciary. It explains why constitutional guarantees alone are insufficient, political commitment is required if there is to be substance to these quarantees. The combination of express political statements made by governmetns, and their attitudes towards the judiciary, advances the argument mady by some that the majority of leaders treat its institutional independnce as a foreign invention imposed upon Africa. What is more disturbing, is that no alternate mechanisms are adopted to address and stop the continuation of human rights abuses. Therefore, this research seeks to answer the following question: whether judicial independence is a foreign invention imposed on African governments, and further, whether it is relevant to the protection of human rights in the continent. ... The research is composed of an introduction and four chapters. The introduction outlines the research question, literature review, objectives, hypothesis, significance, methodology and limitations of the study. Chapter one seeks to define the concept of judicial independence and how it relates to the protection of human rights. This is done by examining the international law perspectives on judicial independence. Chapter two highlights the theoretical and practical developments in the African continent that have taken place through the auspices of the OAU pertaining to judicial independence. Here the ACHPR, jurisprudence of the African Commission, the Protocol to the ACHPR and ancillary instruments are discussed and analysed. Chapter three discusses other universally recognised considerations that are concomitant to judicial independence and whose observance accelerate the protection of human rights. The chapter also focuses on the national constitutions to determine the extent to which justice systems cater for judicial independence and, practical responses by governments and courts. The fourth chapter seals the study by drawing evaluations, forwarding recommendations for the popularisation of judicial independence as an internationally recognised mechanism of the protection of human rights relevant to Africa, and finally, drawing general conclusion of the study." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2003.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Atangcho N. Akonumbo, at the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, The Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaounde, Cameroon