Michael Clark | Bakgatla ba Kgafela’s Constitutional Court case goes to heart of land reform

18 June 2015 – The Bakgatla ba Kgafela court case hits at the heart of South Africa’s land restitution programme, and at people’s land rights protected by the Constitution. On 28 May 2015 the Constitutional Court heard the case of Bakgatla ba Kgafela Tribal Communal Property Association v Bakgatla ba Kgafela Tribal Authority and Others (as […]

John Paul Ongeso | First for Africa: Organisational criminal liability for deaths caused at work

15 June 2015 – The Federal Parliament of Nigeria is in the process of passing the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2010. The Bill targets both public and private entities — referred to collectively as organisations — and seeks to penalise these bodies for the offence of manslaughter: that is, where the death of an individual occurs due […]

Michael Power | South Africa’s international and domestic legal obligations to arrest Omar al-Bashir

14 June 2015 – On Sunday, 14 June 2015, the Pretoria High Court heard an urgent application concerning South Africa’s legal obligations to execute arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court (“ICC”).  Al-Bashir, who has two outstanding ICC arrest warrants for his involvement as an indirect (co-)perpetrator […]

Frank W. Acheampong | Revisiting the xenophobia debate

12 June 2015 – Earlier this year the world watched aghast as Emmanuel Sithole, or Manuel Jossias, was brutally stabbed to death in the streets of Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Sithole’s “crime” was not being a South African in a nation struggling with an outbreak of xenophobic violence. This was ostensibly triggered a few weeks earlier […]

Nerima Were | Is this the first step to a more inclusive Kenya? Eric Gitari v NGOs Coordination Board

3 June 2015 – A recent judgment of the High Court of Kenya has advanced LGBTI rights by overturning the state regulator’s refusal to register an LGBTI NGO.  But Justice Isaac Lenaola’s cautionary remarks in Eric Gitari v NGOs Coordination Board and Others, handed down on 24 April 2015, are perhaps telling.  He states “this petition […]

C. Genevieve Jenkins | Was South Africa’s vote for the 2014 SADC Tribunal Protocol unconstitutional?

11 May 2015 – If you live in a country that is part of the Southern African Development Community (“SADC”), arguably your right of access to justice was diminished in 2010, and that diminishment is close to being made permanent. Citizens of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South […]

Leo Boonzaier | Constitutional Court 2015: Term 2 preview

7 May 2015 – Today the Constitutional Court of South Africa begins its second term of the year. Earlier this week, we took stock of the Court’s pending judgments. In this post, we look at its upcoming hearings. The story of the Court’s composition in the first term of 2015 was the high number of acting appointments. This term, that […]

Leo Boonzaier | Constitutional Court 2015: Pending judgments

Later this week, we will preview the South African Constitutional Court’s upcoming hearings. For now, we take stock of the judgments that are pending. By our count, there are at least twelve. Fourth term 2014 Three are from the fourth term of 2014. These are: Sarrahwitz v Maritz NO, an affecting case about a desperate […]

Sarah Logan | The scapegoating of Dadaab

4 May 2015  – in response to the horrific al-Shabab attack that killed 148 students at Garissa University in Kenya on 2 April 2015, the Kenyan government announced that it had requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to close the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp by July 2015. Should the UNHCR fail to […]

Clare Ballard | The way we punish

27 April 2015 – South Africa is often branded as a country with a high incarceration rate. In certain respects, this is true, for with 290 people per 100 000 imprisoned, it has the highest incarceration rate in Africa. But there is much more to prison population rates than a national head count of bodies behind bars. More […]

Leo Boonzaier | Suitable candidates? City Power v Grinpal and Coughlan NO v Road Accident Fund

24 April 2014 – South Africa’s Constitutional Court handed down two unanimous judgments on Monday. Both have special significance, because they were written by Acting Judge Zukisa Tshiqi. As we noted previously, the Judicial Service Commission (‘JSC’) has decided to appoint several female judges to act on the Court with a view to their permanent appointment. […]

Michael Power | Gendered jurisprudence: The inadequate representation of female judges on African courts

20 April 2015 – The preamble to the African Charter stipulates that “freedom, equality, justice and dignity are essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples”.  Article 3 provides that “every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law.”  In relation to the selection of judges – those […]

John Paul Ongeso | Corporate prosecutions in the African Court for human rights abuses?

13 April 2015 – There is growing concern about allegations of serious human rights abuses by multinational corporations especially in developing countries. Multinational corporations have the capacity to impact rights extensively because of their immense political and economic power. The complex nature of corporate group structures effectively makes corporations impervious to regulatory mechanisms. Richly endowed with natural […]