This thesis highlights that Regional Parliamentary Assemblies (RPAs) and International Parliamentary Institutions (IPIs) are relevant to the promotion of human rights. They have consistently promoted human rights, in particular through committees responsible for handling issues of human rights. Their significance to the promotion of human rights lies in their position as oversight actors, legislators of human right oriented laws and their role in the ratification and domestication of human rights treaties. The thesis concludes that the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), as is the case with other RPAs and IPIs, is equally relevant to the promotion of human rights in Africa. Given its powers, the PAP s mandate is however limited to the promotion of human rights.
The thesis thus places particular focus on the Parliament s actual practice and potential role in relation to the promotion of human rights in Africa. In the main, the thesis illustrates that the role of the PAP in the promotion of human rights in Africa has thus far been negligible as the Parliament has done little to promote human rights in Africa. The thesis further reveals that the inadequate promotion of human rights by the PAP exists despite the fact that it should be occupying a unique position within the African human rights system. This state of affairs is a result of a host of factors that have been identified in the study as including the absence of full legislative powers, the limited budgetary powers and the undemocratic appointment of members of the PAP. The thesis further reveals that the Parliament s relationship with national parliaments, civil society, national human rights institutions sub-regional bodies and other AU institutions is also negligible. To that end, the Parliament has been described as a talk shop , a name befitting an institution that undertakes workshops, seminars and conferences largely for the benefit of its parliamentarians.
The thesis illustrates that the success of the PAP is dependent on several factors, such as its cooperation with member states, national parliaments, sub-regional parliaments, other AU organs, the larger network of civil society and national human rights institutions. This thesis concludes that the PAP is capable of using its current consultative powers to become an influential talk shop as regards the promotion of human rights and the decision-making process of the AU in general. The thesis further concludes that the Parliament must learn from the experiences of other international parliamentary institutions and must explore imaginative ways according to which it could deal more pragmatically with human rights issues.