Since 1992, there has been a surge in the number of West and East African countries who have adopted democratic constitutions. While these constitutions present numerous opportunities for ensuring accountability and a separation of powers, there has been little comparative academic discourse on the constitutionalism experiences of West and East African countries.

The Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law is proud to host a conference on Constitutionalism in Africa on 15th May 2018 in the Danson Room of Trinity College, Oxford.

The conference provides a forum for constitutional experts of these regions to reflect collectively on particular constitutional journeys. It will concentrate on judicial work under constitutional rule and explore the triumphs and challenges that courts face in upholding their respective constitutions.

The conference will be a day-long affair. It will begin with a keynote address, which will then be followed by two panel sessions.

The first panel session is entitled The Courts and Constitutional Crises. The panel will explore how courts have behaved when faced with cases that decide constitutional crises and ask what the role of the judiciary should be in holding the other two branches of government to account.

The second panel session is entitled The Courts and Pluralism. Panelists will evaluate ways in which the pluralism often found in African societies interacts with and poses challenges for courts, constitutions and human rights doctrines. Particular attention will also be placed on provisions for decentralized governance, such as federalism and devolution, and how these interact with questions of social plurality.

The conference will bring together senior and young academics, judges, and practitioners of West and East African law from around the world.

For more information, please contact Maame Mensa-Bonsu at maame.mensa-bonsu@wolfson.ox.ac.uk.