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Copyright (c) 2012 Brooklyn Journal of International Law
Brooklyn Journal of International Law

ARTICLE: REFLECTIONS ON THE AFRICAN UNION'S RIGHT TO INTERVENE

2012

Brooklyn Journal of International Law

38 Brooklyn J. Int'l L. 1

Author

Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango *

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The African Union ("AU") has reserved for itself a right to intervene in cases of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. 1 This Article reflects on the AU's right to intervention in order to ascertain what this right entails and also, how the AU has dealt with it so far. The AU law requires, and international law allows, for the AU to exercise its right to intervene in a member state where international crimes are being committed. In short, the AU has a legal duty to intervene, evidenced by the codification of this duty in the AU's Constitutive Act and by the establishment of organs that play crucial roles in allowing the AU to exercise this right.

However, the AU still needs to resolve some impediments that may bar it from exercising its right to intervene in a member state in whose territory crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide are being committed. Among the impediments that need to be resolved is the need to clarify the meaning of the right to intervene, which is not currently defined anywhere in the AU treaties, decisions, or resolutions. Further, the AU may also be barred from exercising this right as it appears that the principles of sovereignty, non-interference, and territorial integrity of the AU member states are interpreted restrictively. The AU must deal with these issues before an attempt to exercise the right to intervene is made.

Part I of this Article explains ...
 
 
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