Judicial Independence and Transitional Justice in Cameroon: A Pathway to Sustainable Peace in the ongoing Anglophone CrisisPosted: 10 May, 2023 Filed under: Bobuin Jr Valery Gemandze Oben, Uncategorized | Tags: African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy, Anglophone crisis, Cameroon, conflict, constitutional enactment, constitutionalism, corruption, extrajudicial killings, inadequate resources, independence, judicial independence, OHCHR, orced disappearances, political interference, reconciliation, socio-economic transformation, sustainable peace, transformative constitutionalism, Transitional Justice Leave a comment
Author: Bobuin Jr Valery Gemandze Oben
Advocacy Specialist, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Since 2017 Cameroon has been faced with a separatist insurrection widely referred to as—the Anglophone crisis. It has had devastating effects on the country, and over its bloody course, has been considered the most neglected conflict in the world, with thousands of lives lost and about a million others displaced. Transitional justice tools can provide a pathway for addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and promoting reconciliation and sustainable peace. The OHCHR defines it as, ‘‘the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past conflict, repression, violations and abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation’’. While in the African context, the African Union’s Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) defines it as ‘‘the various (formal and traditional or non-formal) policy measures and institutional mechanisms that societies, through an inclusive consultative process, adopt in order to overcome past violations, divisions and inequalities and to create conditions for both security and democratic and socio-economic transformation’’. However, as would be subsequently seen, the success of these measures is largely dependent on the independence of the judiciary.
Constitutional challenges to cryptocurrencies regulation in the Central African RepublicPosted: 2 May, 2023 Filed under: Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabré | Tags: Bank of Central African States, CEMAC, Central African Economic and Monetary Community, Central African Republic, citizenship, constitutional implications, constitutional provisions, cryptocurrencies, e-residence, Law n°22.004 governing cryptocurrency in the Central African Republic, regulatory acts, Sango Coins Leave a comment
Author: Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabré
Postdoctoral researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In my previous blog, I argued that the “CAR rushed to legislate cryptocurrencies without creating the ecosystem in which they should operate and ensuring that the country was ready for such a shift to cryptocurrencies. Therefore, many challenges still need to be addressed not only at the national level but also at the regional level”. I mainly highlighted the lack of infrastructure at the national level and discussed the challenges to regional integration since the CAR is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) which has entrusted the ‘exclusive privilege of monetary issue on the territory of each member state of the monetary union’ to the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). On 20 July 2022, this question was examined during the extraordinary session of the Board of Directors of the BEAC which encouraged the Central Bank to continue actions in favor of financial inclusion and the modernization of its infrastructure as well as the reflection aimed at creating a central bank digital currency.
Women’s right of inheritance of property: Perspectives of a female lawyer from South SudanPosted: 18 April, 2023 Filed under: Cedonia Victor Legge | Tags: CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, Cultural barriers, inheritance of property, Institutional barriers, international human rights treaties, Land Act, legal frameworks, Maputo Protocol, patriarchal traditions, progressive laws, property, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, South Sudan, women’s rights 1 Comment
Author: Cedonia Victor Legge
Advocate and LLM scholar, University of Juba
Women in South Sudan make up more than half the country’s population, yet they have the least influence in the society ¾ especially in the right of access to property ¾ movable and immovable. Whereas the law guarantees the right of women to inherit property, patriarchal traditions continue to deny women from inheriting property. This article discusses my first-hand experiences as a female practicing lawyer in South Sudan. I start by pointing out the legal frameworks on women’s right to own property in South Sudan. This is important to show that South Sudan has legal obligations and a duty to ensure equal access to property by women. It is also crucial for the government to address barriers placed before women in enjoying such a fundamental right. The article proceeds to examine the traditional practices that are opposed to legal frameworks guaranteeing women’s rights to inherit property. The article ends with some recommendations that I put forward to address women’s right to inherit property.
Uganda, god does not uphold theePosted: 11 April, 2023 Filed under: Nimrod Muhumuza | Tags: anti-homosexuality law, colonial rule, Constituent Assembly, culture, For God and My Country, homophobia, Kulwa Katonda n’Eggwanga Lyaffe, National Symbols Committee, religion, religious ideologues, religious preferences, revenge killings, sexual minorities, state religion, Uganda Leave a comment
Author: Nimrod Muhumuza
Politicians and religious ideologues often deploy the mantra “Uganda is a god-fearing country” and cite the motto “For God and my Country” to tip the scales on controversial or polarasing issues as if it is a substitute for reasoned, principled debate. They would have us believe that religion regulates and should dictate our conduct, going as far as suggesting that our laws should be informed or at least inspired by scripture. Contemporary religion and its ideals has been a mainstay of Ugandan politics and society, manifested in the religious wars of the 1880s, Christian-inspired colonial rule, President Idi Amin’s Sharia-inspired decrees to the raft of morality laws that have been proposed or enacted recently.
Where to Zimbabwe? Another stage set for flawed elections under Mnangagwa’s leadershipPosted: 3 April, 2023 Filed under: Nqobani Nyathi | Tags: accountability, African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, amendment of the Constitution, by-elections, constitution, Constitution of Zimbabwe, democracy, electoral disputes, Emmerson Mnangagwa, free and fair elections, government-affiliated media, Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa, human rights, Luke Malaba, peaceful resolution, Private Voluntary Organisations Bill, PVO Bill, rise to power, unlawful killings, violence, ZEC, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 1 Comment
Author: Nqobani Nyathi
Doctoral Candidate and Project Officer, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In 2018, and perhaps at the peak of his popularity, Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly won a disputed Presidential election in Zimbabwe. In the aftermath, chaos ensued, and soldiers shot and killed people. No one has been held accountable so far, perpetuating an environment of impunity and fear. Mnangagwa’s unconstitutional rise to power the previous year had subverted democracy and as predicted, he has continuously demonstrated an unsettling disregard for the Constitution and the principles of democracy. Zimbabwe’s next general election is scheduled for some time this year, on a date yet to be announced. If Mnangagwa persists on his current path of undermining the Constitution, the election could lack the legitimacy necessary for a functioning democracy.
The urgent need for more women representation in Africa: Why we do what we doPosted: 30 March, 2023 Filed under: Maria Mulenga Kasoma, Mary Izobo | Tags: Africa, African Union (AU) Agenda, developmental agendas, exclusion of women, gender equality, gender gaps, gender inequality, global priorities, leadership, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, US-Africa Leaders’ Summit Leave a comment
Author: Mary Izobo
International Human Rights Lawyer
Author: Maria Mulenga Kasoma
Final-year law student
In December 2022, United States President Joe Biden hosted the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit emphasised the importance of engagement with Africa on the world’s most pressing challenges and possibilities. The Summit also sought to demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa, underscored the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities. “Women and Youth: Peace and Security” was one of the key themes of the Summit. Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed the gathering on the role of women’s inclusion in African leadership. Under the theme, she highlighted the social and economic factors that push the exclusion of women. She further stressed the need to revise laws to ensure full gender equality.
When the next generation of leaders forgets God: State, religion and the dilemma of the interpretation of article 8 of the Constitution of Kenya in the not-so-distant future.Posted: 27 March, 2023 Filed under: Alex Tamei | Tags: Article eight, Bomas draft, Christian values, Constitution of Kenya, corruption, Mukami Wangai, National Council of Churches, NCC, post–election violence, religion, religious leaders, religious practice, Samoei Ruto 1 Comment
Author: Alex Tamei
Law student, Kabarak University School of Law, Kenya
Article eight of the Constitution of Kenya states very succinctly that Kenya shall have no state religion, [i]effectively rendering Kenya a secular state. Several disagreements have arisen because of this minimalist approach taken by the constitution in addressing the relationship between religion and the state. An example is the numerous ‘headscarves cases’ [ii] which according to Mukami Wangai, brought to the surface the confusion in deciding exactly which strain of secularism the 2010 Constitution envisioned for Kenyans. [iii]
Shortly after his ascension to the seat of president of the republic, His Excellency William Samoei Ruto caused a fresh round of debate to ensue on the relationship between state and religion by inviting several clergymen into his official residence at statehouse. Naturally this rankled some people the wrong way. [iv] One such iteration of this debate occurred at Kabarak University during the second edition of the Meet the Author Series where Professor J. Osogo Ambani and a plenary of distinguished contributors came together to tackle the issue at hand through the lens of Professor Ambani’s book, Africa and the decolonization of state religious practice.
Ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and ethics of digital mental health solutions: a regulatory imperativePosted: 9 March, 2023 Filed under: Abasiodiong Ubong Udoakpan | Tags: data protection, development, digital health interventions, digital mental health solutions, equitable access, Evidence-based regulation, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), health disparities, mental health, privacy, regulatory frameworks, resource constraints, Risk-based regulation, User-centered regulation, WHO framework, World Health Organization (WHO) Leave a comment
Author: Abasiodiong Ubong Udoakpan
Data Protection Advisor, Researcher and a Human Rights Lawyer
As the use of digital mental health solutions continues to grow, there is an urgent need for regulatory frameworks to ensure their safety, effectiveness, and ethical use. The regulatory landscape for digital mental health solutions is complex and evolving. At the global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a framework for digital health that includes guidance on the development, evaluation, and regulation of digital health interventions. The WHO framework emphasizes the need for evidence-based interventions that are safe, effective, and ethical, and that are responsive to the needs of different populations. The framework also highlights the importance of data protection and privacy, as well as the need for equitable access to digital health solutions.
How legal frameworks on disinformation help suppression in Burkina Faso and GuineaPosted: 17 February, 2023 Filed under: Dércio Tsandzana, Simone Toussi | Tags: Burkina Faso, Cybersecurity and Data Protection Act, digital communication platforms, disinformation, false news, Francophone, General Gilbert Diendéré, Guinea, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, international human rights standards, misleading documents, suppression, terrorism, transitional periods Leave a comment
Author: Simone Toussi
Digital Rights Researcher, Africa Region
Disinformation, also known as, “all forms of false, inaccurate, or misleading information designed, presented and promoted to intentionally cause public harm or for profit”,  is on the rise in Africa, aided by the evolving digital communication platforms. To counter disinformation, several African governments are using provisions in existing laws or enacting new laws that do not comply with international human rights standards on freedom of expression and access to information. As of August 2022, no country in Francophone Africa has enacted legislation specifically on disinformation, but the majority have provisions regulating disinformation in various laws.