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.
Eritrean Independence: Form over substancePosted: 10 November, 2015 Filed under: Lebogang Maxelegu | Tags: arbitrary arrests, Armed Struggle, detention, Eritrea, Ethiopian rule, human rights violations, independence, national conscription, oppression, PFDJ, refuge, revolution 1 Comment
Assistant Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Eritreans observed the 54th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Armed Struggle for Independence on 1 September 2015. While the success of the armed struggle in attaining independence from Ethiopian rule should have been a cause for celebration for the whole nation, it was instead characterised with mixed emotions.
On the one hand, the ruling party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) and some Eritreans, embraced and glorified the country’s protracted 30 year war with Ethiopia-describing it as one of Africa’s formidable revolutions. On the other hand, many Eritreans, in particular those who fled, have by implication of their seeking refuge in other countries, expressed their discontentment with the current socio-political landscape in which widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations are perpetrated with impunity.
The need for proper leadership to guide the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in KenyaPosted: 11 November, 2013 Filed under: Francis Khayundi | Tags: human rights, human rights culture, independence, Kenya, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenyan Constitution, National Human Rights Institution, Paris Principles, representation, socio-economic rights 1 Comment
Author: Francis Khayundi
PhD candidate, Rhodes University, South Africa
The advent of the new 2010 Kenyan Constitution brought with it a promise of inclusive human rights enjoyment by making provision for socio-economic rights in Article 43. The entrenchment of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNCHR) as an independent constitutional body, specifically tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights in Kenya, in terms of Article 59(1), further strengthened this development and promise. The KNCHR’s legal mandate, powers and the selection of commissioners is governed by the KNCHR Act of 2011.
Realising the importance of having an institution that could independently work towards the promotion and protection of human rights in Kenya, the drafters of the Constitution opted to include the KNCHR in the final draft, with a mandate that was whittled down from what was initially proposed. Through the Act, the KNCHR was established as a successor institution to the one initially anticipated in Article 59(1) of the Constitution. The KNCHR is a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), an institution formed by either a constitutional provision or legislative text to specifically promote and protect human rights. There are quite a number of similar NHRIs formed across the globe. NHRIs are non-judicial mechanisms that complement other arms of government in the fulfilment of human rights within a state. They are also an indication of a state’s commitment to use all appropriate means to realise human rights. The establishment of NHRIs is guided by the Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions (Paris Principles) which, at a minimum, require that such an institution be independent (financially, operationally and legally autonomous); have a broad mandate; have a diverse membership; and given enough room to carry out their functions.