Happiness and same-sex affectionPosted: 22 April, 2016 Filed under: Saul Leal | Tags: autonomy of will, Brazil, Chinelo Okparanta, Civil Code, constitution, fundamental rights, gay, happiness, homo-affectionate, hope of happiness, human dignity, Justice Celso de Mello, Justice Luiz Fux, love, Nigeria, prejudice, privacy, protection of the right to life, right to equal protection under the law, right to happiness, same-sex affection, same-sex couples, same-sex marriage, sexual discrimination, sexual minorities, United States Declaration of Independence 3 Comments
Author: Saul Leal
Vice-Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA)
Chinelo Okparanta is a Nigerian writer, currently living as a citizen in the United States. She understands the prejudices of her native country, especially against homosexuals. In some parts of Nigeria, a gay individual may be stoned to death under the Shari’a law. Okparanta writes, in her lesbian romance Happiness like Water, ‘yes, our love may be hidden, but it is strong. It can still bring happiness’.
Why must the love between two consenting adults be hidden? Should the State have the power to decide towards whom one may show affection? These disconcerting questions may be answered in terms of global Constitutions.
The most important Brazilian decision which entailed the right to happiness was in 2011. The Supreme Court had to rule on the interpretation to be given to article 1.723 of the Civil Code, which only recognizes a common-law relationship between a man and a woman as a family unit which must be public knowledge, continuous, and long-lasting, and be established for the purpose of building a family. The need for the aforementioned ruling resulted from the fact that government bodies refused to grant these rights to homo-affectionate couples. Therefore, the Court had to decide if this union also covered same-sex couples, even though the provision expressly mentions ‘man and a woman’.
The right to life in Africa: General Comment No. 3 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ RightsPosted: 10 February, 2016 | Author: AfricLaw | Filed under: Paul Ogendi | Tags: 57th Ordinary Session, abolition, Africa, African, African Charter, African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Commission, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, albinos, customary international law, death penalty, dignified life, General Comment, IHL, international human rights law, non-discriminatio, poverty, protection of the right to life, Resolution 263, Resolution 275, right to life, sexual minoroties, use of force | 3 Comments
Author: Paul Ogendi
Researcher, Working Group on death penalty and extrajudicial summary or arbitrary killings in Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
During its 57th Ordinary Session held from 4 to 18 November 2015 in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) adopted General Comment No. 3 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (General Comment No. 3) focusing on the right to life.
The document is timely because the protection of the right to life is currently under threat globally. Africa is no exception.
The Commission in 2012 expanded the work of one of its working groups focusing on the right to life to include not just death penalty but also extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings in Africa.
Some of the salient features of the new General Comment are discussed below.
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