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Zundel, Isabelle

BIGSAS Junior Fellow Isabelle Zundel

Research Interests:

Public international law, international human rights law, human rights in Africa, African legal studies, regional integration law, SOGIESC rights

Geographical area:

Eastern and Southern Africa, African regional legal system

Current Project:

„Claiming SOGIESC rights through the African human rights system - Analysis of normative, institutional and procedural frameworks on the example of sexual orientation“

This thesis discusses and answers the question on how to best utilize the normative and procedural frameworks of the African human rights system in order to protect and strengthen LGBTQI+ rights. It does this by analysing substantive rules, institutions and their procedural frameworks at the international, regional and sub-regional levels. This question is important because LGBTQI+ rights in Africa are a very topical issue that is regularly and globally discussed in the scientific community. There have been legal and socio-legal publications which however have been fallen short in terms of regionally owned and grounded analysis. The few times in which the role of the African human rights system in strengthening the rights of LGBTQI+ people has been discussed, this has focused on warnings against the direct involvement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, depicting this central pillar of the African human rights system as a problematic forum which could engender backlash instead of highlighting possible paths. However, other possibilities of the normative and procedural frameworks, which offer prospects, are routinely neglected. The dissertation will therefore engage in detail with the opportunities given by the system in place to build legal and political pathways towards the promotion and protection of LGBTQI+ rights.


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