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  • Author: Dapo Akande, Charles C. Jalloh, Max du Plessis
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: This article assesses the African Union's (AU) concerns about Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It seeks to articulate a clearer picture of the law and politics of deferrals within the context of the AU's repeated calls to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC, or the Council) to invoke Article 16 to suspend the processes initiated by the ICC against President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan. The Council's failure to accede to the AU request led African States to formally withhold cooperation from the ICC in respect to the arrest and surrender of the Sudanese leader. Given the AU's continued concerns, and the current impasse, fundamental questions have arisen about the Council's authority to exercise, or not exercise, its deferral power. This culminated into a November 2009 African proposal for an amendment to the Rome Statute to empower the UN General Assembly to act should the UNSC fail to act on a deferral request after six months. Although ICC States Parties have so far shown limited public support for the AU's proposed amendment to the deferral provision, this article examines its merits because a failure to engage the “Article 16 problem” could impact international accountability efforts in the Sudan, and further damage the ICC's credibility in Africa. This unresolved issue also has wider significance given that the matters underlying the tension ‐ how ICC prosecutions may be reconciled with peacemaking initiatives and the role and power of the Council in ICC business ‐ will likely arise in future situations from around the world.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Ifeonu Eberechi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: Despite the overwhelming ratification of the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by African states, recent attempts to prosecute the perpetrators of egregious crimes in the region have come under a sustained opposition from its regional body, the African Union (AU). In fact, the blunt accusation is that international criminal justice has become an instrument of colonization. Within the context of the AU's claim, this article engages the question of selective enforcement of international criminal accountability, ironically beginning with the Nuremberg trial. Without necessarily justifying the senseless perpetration of heinous crimes in Africa, this article argues that an international justice regime complex that is perceived to be skewed in favour of the West engenders a crisis of legitimacy and ultimately robs it of the much needed cooperation from the region.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Thoko Kaime
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: This article examines the cultural-based critiques of the international human rights paradigm generally and children's rights in particular, with specific reference to Africa. In this regard, the paper attempts to identify gaps in the analyses of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Towards that end, the paper proceeds in three parts. In the first section, it situates the discussion within the general framework of children's rights at international law. In the next section, it turns to an examination of the culture-based critiques of the idea of universal rights. Finally, in the fourth and fifth sections, it analyses the documents and literature that focus on the rights and welfare of the child. In the concluding section, the author raises several important questions regarding the propriety of this special category of human rights in the African context.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ifeonu Eberechi
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: Intrinsic in the concept of international justice for violations of international humanitarian law is the requirement of cooperation by states and, to a large extent, regional bodies with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Unlike domestic courts, the ICC is not endowed with law enforcement power nor could such power be imputed to it as part of its functions. It is against this background that the on-going crisis of corporation between the ICC and the African Union (AU) following the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for international crime portends a far reaching implication for the administration of international criminal accountability. As part of a broader diagnosis of the reasons for the AU's opposition, this paper, while discussing armed conflicts in Africa, which provides the fillip for gross human rights violations in the region, exposes the contributions of the West. It concludes that an effective enforcement of international justice in the region must include an inquiry into the role of international actors and Western powers in promoting and exacerbating the situation.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Pacifique Manirakiza
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: Africa has been ravaged by armed conflicts and/or oppressive regimes for decades. During those conflicts or oppressive regimes, heinous crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed and made millions of victims. Among these, only a handful number saw some justice. This was possible essentially because the international community took a vigorous stance against the impunity of war criminals and genocidaires by creating international judicial mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), to deal with it. Also, some individual African States have prosecuted international crimes within their municipal courts as well as some western States based on the universal jurisdiction principle. This article analyses the African contribution to the building of the international criminal justice system. It also addresses the African objections against the ICC intervention in Africa and the use of the universal jurisdiction criticized as a form of imperialism and neo-colonialism disguised in a judicial form. It concludes by exploring the feasibility of an African Criminal Court.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Yemisi Dina
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: Professor Henry Steiner et al in the book International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals: Texts and Materials described the African System as the “newest, least developed or effective.....most distinctive and most controversial”. However the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights even though in its infancy has managed to be an effective international human rights instrument according to the findings of the study conducted by Professor Obiora Okafor in his book The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces And International Institutions. The book is a testamentary evidence of some of the achievements of this system through the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The African continent is faced with a number of regional obstacles but Okafor has contributed his well researched work to scholarship by documenting some of the critical issues in the area of international human rights which cannot be found anywhere else. The book can also serve as casebook on African.
  • Political Geography: Africa
17. Editorial
  • Author: Charles Chernor Jalloh
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: The Africa Law Institute is pleased to present this second issue of Volume 2 of the African Journal of Legal Studies (“AJLS”). This issue contains four articles that capture in their origins and breadth the aim of the AJLS, which is to serve as a leading forum for the interdisciplinary engagement of issues of human rights, governance and the rule of law in Africa.
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John C. Mubangizi
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: A significant gain of the new political and constitutional dispensation ushered in South Africa in 1994 was a commitment to the protection of human rights. However, protecting human rights in a country where the gap between the rich and the poor is among the largest in the world was always going to be a daunting challenge. The challenge is even more daunting with the protection of socio-economic rights such as the right of access to adequate housing. This article explores the challenges that South Africa faces in protecting human rights in the face of persistent poverty of over half of the country\'s population, vast economic disparities and gross inequality. Focusing on the right of access to adequate housing, the author explores some prospects arising from the roles played by the constitution; domestic courts; other state institutions as well as non-state actors. The article concludes that although the challenges are real, the prospects are promising. However, a lot must be done if the democratic miracle that has characterized South African society over the last fifteen years is to be maintained.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Adewale Banjo
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: The politics of succession in post-independence West Africa has left much to be desired and, by extension, has affected the quality of democracy and human security in the sub-region. This article briefly assesses succession politics in Togo, a small West African nation of approximately 5 million people, following the death of President Gnassingbe Eyadema, one of Africa\'s longest serving dictators. The author describes the military takeover and subsequent election that legitimized the illegal take over of power by Eyadema\'s son despite sustained domestic opposition from politicians and civil society, as well as sub-regional, regional and international condemnation of a Constitutional "coup d\'etat" in Togo. The article concludes that the succession crisis in Togo is far from over, given the continuing manipulation of what the author calls the geo-ethnic divide in that country.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: The African Journal of Legal Studies is pleased to present the following books relating to human rights in Africa received from two major publishers:. Antje du Bois-Pedain, Transitional Amnesty in South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) 418 pages, hardback. . Obiora Chinedu Okafor, The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces and International Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) 350 pages, hardback . John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond, Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 296 pages, paperback.. Frans Viljoen, International Human Rights Law in Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) 673 pages, hardback.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Africa