Edition: AHRLJ Volume 19 No 2 2019
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Contributions to this edition of the African Human Rights Law Journal may be classed into two overarching categories: articles dealing with issues from a continental perspective; and articles that focus on the domestic level.
The first two contributions which are part of the first category interrogate the impact of two relatively new treaties adopted under the ambit of the African Union (AU): the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (African Women’s Protocol), adopted in 2003, and the African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (IDP or Kampala Convention), adopted in 2009. Sithole and Dziva trace the effect of article 5 of the African Women’s Protocol (dealing with the elimination of harmful practices) in Zimbabwe. Adeola’s contribution covers important ground concerning the impact of the Kampala Convention - a topic of particular relevance in the year that the AU devoted to the theme ‘The year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: Towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa’. These contributions complement the burgeoning scholarship on the topic of implementation/compliance/impact by providing detailed analyses in a specific and more general African context.
The next three contributions deal with a variety of thematic concerns of relevance to Africa as a whole: amnesty in the context of the rights of victims in transitional justice (Egbai and Chimakonam); the due diligence standard and state responsibility for domestic violence in international law (Addadzi-Koom); and the right to palliative care for the most vulnerable (Sibomana, Colgan and GunnClark).
Articles addressing issues of particular concern at the domestic level target five countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria and South Africa. In respect of Cameroon, Chiatoh discusses the burning issue of the denial of minority rights in pluralist societies, and argues that the denial of the rights of Anglophone Cameroonians is at the root of the current unresolved conflict in that country. In respect of Kenya, Ogendi takes a critical look at pharmaceutical trade policies in the context of access to medicines; and Christiansen, Jensen and Kelly introduce a much-neglected topic by linking state violence, human rights organisations and the plight of the poor in Nairobi. In respect of Lesotho, ‘Nyane reflects on the abolition of criminal defamation, noting among others the influence of the decision of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Konate v Burkina Faso, and laments the retention of scandalum magnatum.
Two issues of particular concern to Nigeria are considered. Arimoro tackles the contemporaneous issue of public-private partnerships and accounts for its effect on the right to property. Ibrahim addresses an issue of perennial concern - the overcrowding of that country’s prisons. He identifies the holding-charge procedure in relation to pre-trial detainees as a pertinent factor in this regard.
As far as South Africa is concerned, Alimohammadi and Muller confront the topic of the illegal eviction of undocumented foreigners from South Africa, while Lubaale and Mavundla draw attention to the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use.
In ‘Recent developments’ this issue provides a forum for an analysis by Esterhuizen of the Botswana High Court’s decision in Letsweletse Motshidiemang v The Attorney-General, in which the Court struck down colonial-era legislation criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts.
Our sincere appreciation and thanks go to all who have been involved in making the AHRLJ the quality and well-regarded journal it has become since its establishment in 2001. For this particular issue, we extend our genuine gratitude to our anonymous reviewers who so generously gave of their time, expertise and insights: Prudence Acirokop; Samuel Ade; Prince Agada; Joseph Akech; Akinola Akintayo; Atangcho Akonumbo; Evelyne Asaala; Victor Ayeni; Cristiano D’Orsi; Hlengiwe Dube; Jackie Dugard; Charles Fombad; Hajer Gueldich; Shannon Hoctor; Stanley Ibe; Ademola Jegede; Winifred Kamau; Mona Kareithi; Richard Lines; Trésor Makunya; Nkatha Murungi; Tafadzwa Muvingi; Genny Ngende; Ben Nyabira; Judy Oder; Godwin Odo; Benson Olugbuo; Femi Oluyeju; Azubike Onuora-Oguno; Misha Plagis; Thomas Probert; Julia Sloth-Nielsen; Philip Stevens; Lee Stone; Monica Tabengwa; and Ismene Zarifis.