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Judicial review systems in West Africa: A comparative analysis

This comparative study by International IDEA and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, in cooperation with the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, aims to facilitate understanding on the constitutional and legal framework of the institutions in the different legal cultures in West Africa. Its chapters offer, among others, insights into the historical evolution of constitutional justice systems in the region as well as trends in the contemporary design, structure and mandates of institutions responsible for judicial review and constitutional justice in 16 West African countries. West Africa provides a unique context for such a study, as it encompasses the two main legal traditions and cultures—common law and civil law (the latter with both French and Portuguese forms)—practiced across the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

This book, which has benefited from the intellectual contributions of many researchers—drawn from anglophone, francophone and lusophone West Africa—with extensive knowledge of the subject and the region, will serve diverse audiences in the region in a number of important ways. For national policymaking communities, it illuminates gaps in the design of constitutional justice systems, thereby highlighting the need for reforms to improve the effectiveness of the institutions and enhance the promotion of the rule of law. For the academic community, it makes an important contribution to the potential development of comparative constitutional law in an area with a clear gap in academic scholarship. In addition, completed questionnaires developed during the primary research for the publication (hosted on International IDEA’s website provide valuable information for researchers. For the practitioner community, which includes constitutional lawyers, judges and legal officers, it provides a medium for mutual learning and exchange about different systems of constitutional justice design in the region.

To order a print copy, visit the International IDEA website.

Document type

International IDEA and Hanns Seidel Stiftung

Creative Commons License