Self-determination in the Case Law of the African Commission: Lessons for Europe

In this paper Stefan Salomon inquires, first, what legally might remain of self-determination in a postcolonial context by focusing on the case law of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR). Second, it asks what might be the lessons for Europe by gazing at the development of the legal concept of self-determination in Africa.

Looking at self-determination in contemporary Europe, one finds self-determination lumped together with the question of a possible right to remedial secession, either passionately defended or fervently rejected. Lumping self-determination and secession together tends to reduce self-determination to a territorial meaning. Such a territorial meaning indicates a larger geographical bias in international law. This paper inquires, first, what legally might remain of self-determination in a postcolonial context by focusing on the case law of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR). Second, it asks what might be the lessons for Europe by gazing at the development of the legal concept of self-determination in Africa. Legal developments in the global south, Africa in particular, have largely gone unnoticed in legal scholarship. Such negligence is unwarranted as the most acute and fast paced global trends manifest more visibly in Africa than in other places. Africa foreshadows global processes in many ways. After giving a brief overview over self-determination in the colonial context (part 2), the paper addresses the question who remains the bearer of the right to self-determination (part 3) and what remains the content of self-determination (part 4). The final chapter (part 5) concludes by relating the jurisprudence of the African Commission to current European events.

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Stefan Salomon, Self-determination in the Case Law of the African Commission: Lessons for Europe in:

VRÜ Verfassung und Recht in Übersee, Seite 217 - 241

VRÜ, Jahrgang 50 (2017), Heft 3, ISSN print: 0506-7286, ISSN online: 0506-7286, DOI:  10.5771/0506-7286-2017-3-217

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