1 - The African human rights system, activist forces, and international institutions: an introduction  pp. 1-11

The African human rights system, activist forces, and international institutions: an introduction

By Obiora Chinedu Okafor

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Aside from their weak attempts at commanding obedience and their very modest successes at cajoling compliance, are there other significant ways in which international human rights institutions (IHIs), such as the African human rights system, can matter to those who wage domestic social struggles? Aside from doing something for the local activist forces that wage such struggles, can such activist forces do meaningful things with the African system in their engagement with the domestic institutions of their own countries? Can these activist forces, as local actors and agents, more effectively deploy and harness within states the norms, processes, and creative spaces that have been made available to them partly as a result of the character and behaviour of the African system? Can they by so doing facilitate a creative form and process of “trans-judicial communication” between the African system and such other IHIs (on the one hand) and the key domestic institutions (on the other hand)? In short, what precisely, if at all, is the extent of the domestic impact of the African system; how exactly has such domestic impact been achieved; and what does the manner in which it has been achieved tell us about the ways in which we imagine and evaluate IHIs like the African system?

A number of concepts are central to the questions raised above: the African human rights system, activist forces, IHIs, and trans-judicial communication. These require definition.

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Reference Title: Select bibliography

Reference Type: bibliography

Reference Title: Books

Reference Type: bibliography

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Reference Title: Cases

Reference Type: bibliography

Abacha v. Fawehinmi (2000) 6 NWLR 228 (Supreme Court of Nigeria)
Agballah v. National Constitutional Conference Commission and others, Suit No. FHC/E/8/94, Federal High Court Enugu (unreported)
Agbakoba v. Director of State Security Service and another (1994) 6 NWLR (Pt. 351) 475
Attorney General v. Ajayi [2002] 3 CHRLD 332 (30 May 2000)
Attorney General of Botswana v. Unity Dow (1992) LRC (Const.) 623; (1994) 6 BCLR 1 (Botswana); (1992) SACLR LEXIS 7
Awaye and others v. Controller General of Prisons and others, suit no. FHC/L/CS/1113/97 (unreported), 4 June 1999
The Bamidele Case, suit no. B/6M89, Benin High Court
Bhe and others v. Magistrate Khayelitsha and others (2005) 1 BCLR 1 (CC)
Case v. Minister of Safety and Security (1996) 5 BCLR 609; (1996) SACLR LEXIS 3
Chairperson of the Immigration Selection Board v. Frank and another (2001) 3 CHRLD 179
Chinamora v. Angwa Furnishers (Pvt) Ltd (1997) 2 BCLR 189. See also (1996) SACLR LEXIS 54
Chirwa v. Malawi (1996) 3 International Human Rights Report 134
Christian Education South Africa v. Minister of Education (2000) 10 BCLR 1051 (CC)
Comptroller Nigeria Prisons v. Dr. Femi Adekanye and 26 Others (1999) 10 NWLR 400
Constitutional Rights Project v. President Ibrahim Babangida and 2 others, suit no. M/102/93, Lagos State High Court, Nigeria (unreported)
Constitutional Rights Project and Civil Liberties Organisation v. Nigeria, Communication No. 102/93 (2000) 7 International Human Rights Reports 259
Constitutional Rights Project and the Civil Liberties Organisation (on Behalf of Ken Saro-Wiwa) v. Nigeria, Consolidated Communications No. 137/94, 154/96, and 161/97
CRP (in respect of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 17 others) v. Nigeria, Communication No. 140/94
Director State Security Service and Another v. Olisa (1999) 3 NWLR 314
D. P. P. v. Pete (1991) LRC (Const.) 553
Ejiofor v. Okeke and others, suit no. FHC/AN/M9/96, Court of Appeal (Enugu Division) (unreported)
Ekpu and others v. Attorney-General of the Federation (1998) 1 Human Rights Law
Ephrahim v. Pastory (1990) 87 I.L.R. 106 (Tanzania High Court)
Fawehinmi v. Abacha (Court of Appeal) (1996) 9 NWLR 710
Fawehinmi v. Aminu (1993) FHCLR 259
Fawehinmi v. IGP, suit no. M/324/89, Lagos High Court (unreported)
Ferreira v. Levin NO (1996) 1 BCLR 1 (CC)
Garreth Anver Prince v. South Africa, Communication No. 255/2002, decided at the 38th Ordinary Session of the African Commission, Banjul, the Gambia, 21 November–5 December 2005 (on file with the author)
Gbemre v. Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Ltd and others, suit no. FHC/B/CS/53/05, 14 November 2005, per C. V. Nwokorie, J (unreported)
Government of South Africa and others v. Grootboom and others (2000) 11 BCLR 1169 (CC)
Gumne and others v. Attorney General [2003] 1 LRC 764
Hoffman v. South African Airways (2000) 11 BCLR 1211 (CC). See also (2000) SACLR LEXIS 127
Human Rights Commission of South Africa v. SABC (2003) 1 BCLR 92 (BCC)
Incorporated Trustees of Media Rights Agenda v. Attorney General of the Federation, suit no. FHC/L/CS/908/99, Federal High Court, Lagos (unreported)
Islamic Unity Convention v. The Independent Broadcasting Authority and others (2002) 5 BCLR 433 (CC)
Katangese Peoples' Congress v. Zaire, Communication No. 75/92 (1996) 3 International Human Rights Reports 136
Kokori v. General Sani Abacha and 4 ors (No. 3), (1995) FHCLR 413
Kuesa v. Minister of Home Affairs, (1993) 3 BCLR 1 (NmH) [High Court]
Labiyi v. Aretiola (1992) 8 NWLR 139
Lakanmi v. Attorney General Western Region (1971) University of Ife Law Reports 201
Laugh it off Promotions Case v. South African Breweries and another (2005) 8 BCLR 743 (CC)
Minister of Home Affairs and another v. Marie Fourie and another, available at www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/Archimages/5257.PDF (visited 6 February 2006)
Modise v. Botswana, Communication No. 97/93, (1999) 6 International Human Rights Reports 828
Muojekwu and others v. Ejikeme and others CA/E/7/99, Court of Appeal (Enugu Division) (unreported)
Nemi v. Attorney General of Lagos State and another (1996) 6 NWLR 42
Ndigwe v. Ibekendu and another (1998) 7 NWLR 486
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation v. Fawehinmi and others (1998) 7 NWLR 598
Ogugu v. The State (1994) 9 NWLR 1
Olisa Agbakoba v. Director State Security Service and another (1994) 6 NWLR (Pt. 351) 475
Oshevire v. British Caledonian Airways Ltd (1990) 7 NWLR 507
Potgieter en'n Ander v. Killian (1995) 11 BCLR 1498 (N)
Prince v. President Law Society Cape of Good Hope and others (1998) 8 BCLR 976 (Cape High Court)
Prince v. President Law Society Cape of Good Hope and others (2000) 3 SA 845 (SCA)
Prince v. President Law Society Cape of Good Hope and others (2002) 3 BCLR 231 (CC)
Rahim Dawood v. Minister of Home Affairs and others (2000) 8 BCLR 837
Registered Trustees of the Constitutional Rights Project (in respect of Zamani Lekwot and 6 others) v. Nigeria (Merits) Communication No. 87/93, reproduced in (1996) 3 International Human Rights Reports 137
Richard Akinola v. General Ibrahim Babangida and 3 others, suit no. M/462/93
Richard Gordon Volks No v. Ethel Robinson and others (2005) 5 BCLR 446 (CC)
Samuel Kaunda and others v. President of the Republic of South Africa and others (2004) 10 BCLR 1009 (CC)
Shabalala v. Attorney General of Transavaal (1994) 6 BCLR 85 (T). See also (1994) SACLR LEXIS 243
Shane Jaipal v. The State (2005) 5 BCLR 423 (CC)
Social and Economic Rights Action Centre and another v. Nigeria, Communication No. 155/96, reproduced in Fifteenth Annual Activity Report of the African Commission, 2001–2002 (on file with the author)
Soobramoney v. Minister of Health, KwaZulu-Natal (1997) 12 BCLR 1696 (CC)
State v. Godfrey Baloyi and others (2000) 1 BCLR. 86 (CC)
State v. Makwamyane (1995) 6 BCLR 665
State v. Viljoen (2003) 4 BCLR 450 (T). See also (2003) SACLR LEXIS 15
State v. Williams [1995] 3 SA 633 (CC)
U.A.C. of Nigeria v. Global Transporte Oceanico S.A. (1996) 5 NWLR 291
Ubani v. Director of State Security Services and Attorney General (1999) 11 NWLR 129
Wittmann v. Deutscher Schulverein Pretoria (1999) 1 BCLR 92 (T). See also (1999) SACLR LEXIS 43

Reference Title: Select Domestic Statutes

Reference Type: bibliography

Reference Title: Nigerian Statutes

Reference Type: bibliography

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap.10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990
Civil Disturbances (Special Tribunal) Decree 2 of 1987 (Nigeria)
Federal Military Government (Supremacy and Enforcement of Powers) Decree 28 of 1970 (Nigeria)
Federal Military Government (Supremacy and Enforcement of Powers) Decree 12 of 1994 (Nigeria)
Newspapers Registration Decree No. 43 of 1993 (Nigeria)
Nigerian National Human Rights Commission Decree No. 22 of 1995 (Nigeria)
Political Parties (Dissolution) Decree No. 114 of 1999 (Nigeria)
State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree of 1984 (Nigeria)

Reference Title: South African Statutes

Reference Type: bibliography

Black Administration Act 38 of 1927 (South Africa)
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) (South Africa)
Immigration Act 2002 (South Africa)
Indecent or Obscene Photographic Matter Act of 1967 (South Africa)
Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 (South Africa)
Prevention of Family Violence Act 133 of 1993 (South Africa)
Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (South Africa)

Reference Title: International instruments, regional instruments, commission reports, and resolutions

Reference Type: bibliography

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1982) 58 ILM 21
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: Examination of State Reports, 11th Session, March 1992 (Oslo: Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1995)
African Commission Report Volume 12
African Commission Report Volume 13
African Commission Report Volume 14
African Commission Report Volume 18
Directory of NGOs with Observer Status at the African Commission, 2004, available at www.achpr.org/english/info/directory_ngo_en.html (visited 25 January 2006)
Final Communique of the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, paragraph 17 (on file with the author)
Final Communiqué of the Second Extraordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, held in Kampala, Uganda, 18–20 December 1995 (on file with the author)
Final Communiqué of the 38th Ordinary Session of the African Commission, Banjul, The Gambia, 21 November–5 December 2005, available at www.achpr.org/english/communiques/communique38_en.htm (visited 25 January 2006) at 2
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1967) 6 ILM 1027
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Strategic Plan of Action: 2003–2008 (on file with the author)
List of Judges Elected to the African Court of Human Rights, available at www.amtdatatechnologies.com/acc/UploadedDocuments/1242006115621AM718.doc (visited 6 February 2006)
Mauritius Plan of Action of the African Commission, available at www.achpr.org/english/_doc_target/documentation.html?./declarations/declaration_mauritius_en.html (visited 17 January 2005)
Proceedings of the Conference on African Commission, 1991 June 24–26 (Fund for Peace 3/26/93 MDF) (on file with the author)
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, available at www.dfa.gov.za/for-relations/multilateral/treaties/court.htm (visited 17 January 2005)
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, adopted by the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, Maputo, CAB/LEG/66.6 (13 September 2000); reprinted in 1 African Human Rights Law Journal 40, entered into force on 25 November 2005, available at www1.umn.edu/humanrts/africa/protocolwomen2003.html (visited 6 March 2006)
Resolution on the Establishment of Committees on Human Rights or other Similar Organs at National, Regional or Sub-Regional Levels (1989) www.achpr.org/english/_doc_target/documentation.html?./resolutions/resolution05_en.html (last visited on 17 January 2005)
Resolution on the Gambia, 8th Annual Activity Report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1994–1995, ACHPR/RPT/8th, Annex VII
Resolution on Nigeria, 8th Annual Activity Report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1994–1995, ACHPR/RPT/8th, Annex VII
Resolution on the Military, 8th Annual Activity Report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1994–1995, ACHPR/RPT/8th, Annex VII
South African Human Rights Commission, Fourth Annual Report December 1998–December 1999 (on file with the author)
United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Nigeria, A/RES/50/199 of 22 December 1995
Yaounde Declaration, available at www.sahrc.org.za/afr_sec_yaounde_declaration.pdf (last visited on 17 January 2005)