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The role of African Union law in integrating Africa

Olivier, Michèle E.; Olivier, Michele


Michèle E. Olivier

Michele Olivier


This article traces how the development of regional law is linked to the state of regional integration in Africa. Given the prominent role European Union law plays in the functioning of the European Union, the question is posed whether there is similar scope for the development of ‘African Union law’, a term not established hitherto. Initially devoid from the necessary supranational elements required to adopt law that would automatically bind member states, the African Union is leaning towards a functionalist approach paving the way for transfer of sovereign powers to African Union institutions. It is argued that law-making capacity, be it through the activities of the Pan-African Parliament, the Peace and Security Council or the African court system are necessary requirements to accelerate the process of regional integration. African Union law will hold member states accountable to comply with international and continentally agreed standards on inter alia democracy, good governance and human rights.


Olivier, M. E., & Olivier, M. (2015). The role of African Union law in integrating Africa. The South African journal of international affairs, 22(4), 513-533.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2015
Online Publication Date Dec 15, 2015
Publication Date Dec 15, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal South African journal of international affairs
Print ISSN 1022-0461
Electronic ISSN 1938-0275
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 4
Pages 513-533
Keywords African Union; European Union; African Union law; African Union institutions; Statecentrism; Supranationalism; Supremacy; Regional integration
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in South African journal of international affairs, 2015, v.22, issue 4.


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