The Special Rapporteur on prisons and conditions of detention in Africa and the committee for the prevention of torture in Africa: the potential for synergy or inertia?
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Th is article examines the implications arising out of the recent decision of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (African Commission) to appoint the Chair of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) as the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention (SRP). Th e article reviews the mandates of these Special Mechanisms and considers the potential impact of one Commissioner holding both mandates at the same time. Th e article then considers whether the current practice of the African Commission to appoint Commissioners as Special Rapporteurs can in fact deliver the necessary expertise and level of action required to function effectively and meet the increasing demands for more mechanisms to be established. Finally, the article suggests that lessons can be drawn from the recent review of the UN Special Procedures in order to reform the Special Mechanisms procedure of the African Commission.