Constitutional Adjudication in Africa

ISBN : 9780198810216

Charles M. Fombad
416 ページ
171 x 246 mm

Since the 1990 wave of constitutional reforms in Africa, the role of constitutional courts or courts exercising the power to interpret and apply constitutions have become a critical aspect to the on-going process of constitutional construction, reconstruction, and maintenance. These developments appear, at least from the texts of the revised or new constitutions, to have resulted in fundamental changes in the nature and role of courts exercising jurisdiction in constitutional matters. The chapters in this second volume of the Stellenbosch Handbooks in African Constitutional Law series are the first to undertake a critical and comparative examination of the interplay of the diverse forms of constitutional review models on the continent. Comparative analysis is particularly important given the fact that over the last two decades, constitutional courts in Africa have been asked to decide a litany of hotly-contested and often sensitive disputes of a social, political, and economic nature. As the list of areas in which these courts have intervened has grown, so too have their powers, actual or potential. By identifying and examining the different models of constitutional review adopted, these chapters consider the extent to which these courts are contributing to enhancing constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law on the continent. The chapters show how the long-standing negative image of African courts is slowly changing. The courts have in responded in different ways to the variety of constraints, incentives, and opportunities that have been provided by the constitutional reforms of the last two decades to act as the bulwark against authoritarianism, and this provides a rich field for analysis, filling an important gap in the literature of contemporary comparative constitutional adjudication.


Charles M. Fombad: Introduction

Part 1 General Overview
1 Charles M. Fombad: An Overview of Contemporary Models of Constitutional Review in Africa

Part 2 Archetypical Examples of Different Models of African Constitutional Adjudication
2 Segnonna Horace Adjolohoun: Centralized Model of Constitutional Adjudication: The Constitutional Court of Benin
3 Charles M. Fombad: The Cameroonian Constitutional Council: Faithful Servant of an Unaccountable System
4 Andre Thomashausen: The Constitutional Court of Angola: Judicial Restraint in a Dominant Party State
5 Kofi Quashigah: The Supreme Court of Ghana under the 1992 Constitution: Nature of Jurisdiction as the Apex Court and Contribution to the Promotion of Constitutionalism
6 Ameze Guobadia: Constitutional Adjudication in Nigeria: Formal Structures and Substantive Impact
7 James Fowkes: Constitutional Review in South Africa: Features, Changes, and Controversies
8 Adem Abebe: Unique but Ineffective: Assessing the Constitutional Adjudication System in Ethiopia

Part 3 The Impact of Transjudicialism on Constitutional Adjudication
9 Magnus Killander: The Effects of International Law Norms on Constitutional Adjudication in Africa
10 Bonolo Ramadi Dinokopila: The Impact of Regional and Sub-Regional Courts and Tribunals on Constitutional Adjudication in Africa

Part 4 Constitutional Adjudication and Promotion of Constitutionalism
11 Segnonna Horace Adjolohoun: 'Made in Courts' Democracies? Constitutional Adjudication and Politics in African Constitutionalism
12 Christa Rautenbach: Exploring the Contribution of Ubuntu in Constitutional Adjudication - Towards the Indigenization of Constitutionalism in South Africa?

Part 5 Decision-Making and Working Practices
13 Theodore Holo: Handling of Petitions by the Constitutional Court of Benin
14 Richard J. Goldstone: The Birth of the South African Constitutional Court
15 Samuel Kofi Date-Bah: Decision Making and Working Practices of the Supreme Court of Ghana

Part 6 Conclusion
16 Charles M. Fombad: Constitutional Adjudication and Constitutional Justice in Africa's Uncertain Transition: Mapping the Way Forward


Charles Manga Fombad is Professor of Law and heads the African Constitutional Law Unit at the Institute for International and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. He has taught at the University of Botswana, the University of Yaounde II at Soa,) and was visiting Professor at the Universities of Dschang and Buea in Cameroon. From 2003 to 2007 he was also a Professor Extraordinarius of the Department of Jurisprudence, School of Law, University of South Africa. Professor Fombad is the author of several books is a member of the editorial board of a number of international journals. He is currently a Vice President of the International Association of Constitutional Law. He is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. His research interests are in comparative African constitutional law, media law, and the African Union and legal history, especially issues of legal harmonization.