International law plays an important role in framing the content of national law. This is evident with regard to norms of environmental law, crime prevention and human rights, to name just a few areas where norms adopted by global and regional organisations influence, and to a certain extent harmonise, national legal and policy frameworks.
The focus of this article is on how international human rights law influences the content of national law whether, for example, through direct application of international human rights law by national courts or through inspiring new national legislation based on international instruments. It also considers the impact of "international expert" made law, such as, the decisions of regional and UN quasi-judicial bodies and courts. The article provides an overview of these issues in relation to Africa highlighting pertinent examples from national case law and legislation illustrating particular points.