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International Law's Objects$
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Jessie Hohmann and Daniel Joyce

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798200.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

(p.95) 1 African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
International Law's Objects

Nicole De Silva

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines international courts’ premises as objects of international law through the case of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. When creating an international court, states become legally obligated to supply its physical premises—a functional and symbolic resource that underpins the court’s legal authority and influence. Drawing on archival evidence, this chapter analyses the African Court’s significant challenges in securing this important resource from political actors within the African Union and Tanzania, the court’s host state. It shows that, with international law and courts, there can be a considerable gap between states’ commitment and compliance, and between legal ambition and political reality. This gap, however, can mobilize court officials to assert their needs for resources and, more generally, the significance of their mandate. Examining international courts’ premises, therefore, can elucidate the tensions between law and politics embedded in international justice specifically and international law more broadly.

Keywords:   African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Africa, African Union, Tanzania, international courts, international law, human rights, compliance, politics of international law

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