Think Africa Press is launching a free online educational course entitled, 'International Law and Africa'. Bringing together leading academics, legal practitioners and United Nations special rapporteurs, the course is intended to present readers around the world with an understanding of how international law works, how it came about, how it is enforced and monitored, how it affects individuals and groups, and how it shapes the world’s social, political and economic dynamics. In particular, the course examines the impacts of international law and its institutional infrastructure on Africa.
This focus on international law and Africa is important for a number of reasons. International law and human rights have become symbols of hope and human progress, but there are many weaknesses within statutes, provisions, and enforcement mechanisms, and the creation of laws is never ahistorical or apolitical. This is especially important regarding Africa, which is often the testing ground for emerging doctrines and organs, such as the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and the International Criminal Court. Making Africa the focus of this course also goes some small way to correcting its relative lack of mention in most Western legal syllabuses.
With the rise of modern technology and communication, the spread of information is easier and wider than ever before. The issues covered by the course are rarely available but affect so many; we believe it deserves to be free.
The course will initially consist of a series of in-depth articles that lay the basis of international law – its foundations and history, its sources and protection mechanisms, substantive rights and contemporary challenges – and how they relate to Africa.
The course will continue to grow, however, with additional material added every fortnight. Each article ends with suggestions for further reading and a list of questions to consider. Readers are invited to interact with the course by asking and answering questions, suggesting new content and sharing their thoughts about the topics raised.
Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its articles. If you would like to republish this article, provide feedback, ask or answer questions or request new content please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Twitter at @romromromTAP.