chapter  9
16 Pages

African Courts and African Values: Harmonizing International Human Rights and Customary Law 1

ByLauren Fielder

This chapter examines how international human rights impact African courts faced with the challenge of balancing the right to culture and the right to gender equality. It looks at the international human rights obligations to gender equality that most African states have signed up to, then look at the right to culture and explain how it conflicts with these rights. The legitimacy of the application of international human rights by constitutional courts is examined. The chapter illustrates two different approaches to constitutionally protecting the right to culture. First, when referring to Africa, means sub-Saharan Africa only. Second, while there is great value to drawing connections between the cultures present in sub-Saharan Africa. The right to culture is embodied in part by African customary law. Finally, the chapter examines traditional African values and explores how courts are able to incorporate them into their decisions to harmonize the right to culture with international human rights law.