Accountable Government in Africa

Perspectives from Public Law and Political Studies

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A number of leading experts in the fields of public law, political science and democratization studies contributed to this book to identify ways of making African governments accountable and describe the extent to which these mechanisms work in practice. It presents new knowledge about legal and political developments in a number of African countries that are relevant to the policy goal of developing and deepening democratic governance and accountable government on the continent. This book is of interest to academics, students and practitioners in the fields of public law, public administration, political studies and African studies.



Prosecutions, politics and the law: The way things are

In recent years, a lively debate has been revived in many countries, including South Africa, about what are, and what should be, the constitutional and institutional arrangements for the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion. A host of different cases have fuelled these debates. Some involve investigations into the activities of high profile political or other powerful individuals or corporations, and others involve ordinary citizens with no particular public profile but who have often unwittingly attracted public attention. What these cases have in common is that they raise challenging questions about (i) who should have the ultimate authority to determine what ‘the public interest’ requires in such cases, (ii) the conditions under which such decisions should be made, and (iii) how those who make them can effectively be held publicly accountable.


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