Infringement on democracy, human rights and the rule of law through constitutional amendments: What mechanisms exist to restore Zambia?Posted: 4 December, 2019 Filed under: Juliet Nyamao | Tags: African Charter on Democracy, Amendment Bill 2019, constitution, Constitution of Zambia, constitutional amendments, democratic changes, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECOWAS, Elections and Governance, EU, international treaties, political pluralism, SALC, The Gambia, Zambia Leave a comment
Author: Juliet Nyamao
Human Rights Attorney, Kenyan Bar
The first Constitution of the Republic of Zambia (1964) established a multiparty system of government. However, increasing tensions between the ruling party and the opposition parties compelled the first president of the Republic of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, to institutionalise a one-party rule through the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia Act, 1973. The presidential rule in Zambia was reinforced, with the president as the sole player on the political scene. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war in the early 1990s, a wave of multiparty democracy swept across the African continent leading to emergence of political pluralism. Many countries in the Southern African region adopted constitutional dispensations that allowed political pluralism and cemented the roles of the different branches of governments. Zambia, a former British colony, was no exception to the wind of change; they adopted their new Constitution of Zambia, 1991 that restored multiparty democracy. Thereafter, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 spelt out the roles and mandates of the different branches of government and directed that all State organs and State institutions abide by and respect the sovereign will of the people of Zambia. This Constitution ensured separation of powers between the various branches of the government, which is crucial to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
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AU Assembly should consider human rights implications before adopting the Amending Merged African Court ProtocolPosted: 23 May, 2012 Filed under: Frans Viljoen | Tags: African Court of Justice, African Court of Justice and Human Rights, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African regional human rights system, criminal responsibility, Draft Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), erode existing avenues for human rights redress, incompatible mandates, reduction of focus on and resources available, state responsibility 7 Comments
Author: Frans Viljoen
Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Professor of Human Rights Law
A radical change to the ever-altering African regional judicial landscape is looming large. Meeting in Addis Ababa in mid May 2012, the African Union (AU) ‘Government Experts and Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General on Legal Matters’ adopted the AU – Final Court Protocol – As adopted by the Ministers 17 May (Amending Merged Court Protocol, Exp/Min/IV/Rev.7, 15 May 2012). This draft will in all likelihood serve before the meeting of the AU Heads of State and Government (AU Assembly), to be held in July, in Malawi. If adopted by the AU Assembly, the Protocol will confer upon the to-be-established African Court of Justice and Human Rights the jurisdiction to convict and sentence individuals for international crimes. This paper aims to highlight some concerns, particularly from a human rights angle, about the Amending Merged Court Protocol, in its current form, and argues that the complex implications arising from the suggested amendments require more deliberation and broad inclusive discussion.