Taking Stock of United Nations and African Union Constitutionalism

Otto Spijkers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Both the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) present themselves as a constitutional order, in the sense that they both set out to define the common values of their community – the global and African communites respectively – and to establish supranational institutions to promote and protect these values within their community. Because the two legal orders have a similar ambition, we believe it is interesting to analyse how the two can learn from and complement each other in the way they further define and specify that ambition, and in the way they attempt to concretise and implement it. We thus seek to establish the extent to which global constitutionalism and African regional constitutionalism can strengthen each other in the promotion of key constitutional values. In so doing the article will, inter alia, look at challenges and contestations faced by the UN and AU in their efforts to promote one such constitutional value which they have in common: the value of human dignity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-81
Number of pages20
JournalAfrican Journal of International and Comparative Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021


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