Review of Acts of International Political Organs: The African Union Approach

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Addis Ababa University


Following the judgment of Reparation for Injuries Suffered case, which acknowledged IOs as bearers of right and obligations in the international plane, the debate about IOs turned to their accountability in control of their acts. Since ICJ asserted, in the case, IOs degree of personality only, the conception that their sphere of activity is strictly limited to the provision of their founding instruments has prevailed. This restriction at times has been relaxed by the implied powers theory. Even here, IOs acts can, to the most, go to those justified by objectives and purposes they pursue. Acts of IOs, thus are required to be within their mandate. Control to legality and validity of IO acts has traditionally managed by the insertion of the doctrinal limitations such as compétence d’ attribution, domaine reserve, ultra virus etc. however, lately, institutional mechanism are being included within structures of IOs. These institutions take either political or judicial form. Whichever is preferred, the institution reviews acts of other internal bodies within the organization. Seen from this point of view, the present situation of IOs is not uniform. In some IOs, institutional control is neglected deliberately. In some others the political means is chosen in remaining some others, judicial review is established. This study looks at the review system of the African Union. Specifically control system of the union against acts of the political organs is investigated. It is evident that starting from the eve of the transformation to AU onwards, the continental organization has reorganized itself to reach the goals it aims to achieve. The study thus discusses the review of the system and argues that from the perspective of the revitalized objectives of the union and present state of international law, a number of important elements are dropped from being incorporated though the existence of the system by itself is very radical to the (O)AU.



Review of Acts of International Political Organs, African Union