Questions at the Interface Between Automated Decision Making, Administrative Law and Socio‑Economic Rights: The Example of Access to Affordable Housing in KenyaPosted: 18 March, 2022 Filed under: Alexander Beyleveld | Tags: Access to Affordable Housing, ADM, ADM technologies, administrative law, Affordable Homes Program, automated decision-making, automated processing, constitutional law, CRD System, data protection legislation, freedom from discrimination, fundamental rights, Kenya Data Protection Act, policy framework, right to equality 2 Comments
Author: Alexander Beyleveld
Senior Researcher at the Mandela Institute, University of the Witwatersrand
A number of African governments have begun to integrate automated decision-making (ADM) into processes that give effect to fundamental rights, which has given rise to a number of interesting questions about the manner in which different areas of law interact in ADM contexts. ADM has thus far been most directly regulated by data protection legislation, such as the Kenya Data Protection Act (KDPA). Automated decisions, however, also implicate administrative law, and constitutionally enshrined rights related to administrative action. An additional layer of complexity is added in situations where automated decisions form part of the process governments have elected to use to give effect to fundamental rights, especially when a number of different rights are implicated. Understanding the interface between ADM, data protection laws, administrative law and constitutional law, then, will only continue to grow in importance in assessing the extent to which governments are giving effect to certain fundamental rights – as well as for assessing the extent to which governments and individuals are actually reaping the potential benefits of ADM technologies in the first place.
Right to stand for elections as an independent candidate in the African human rights system: The death of the margin of appreciation doctrine?Posted: 19 August, 2013 Filed under: Adem Kassie Abebe | Tags: African Charter, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Court, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, constitution, elections, Inter-American Court on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, international human rights, margin of appreciation doctrine, Mtikila, right to association, right to equality, right to political participation, right to stand for elections, Tanzania, Tanzanian Court of Appeal 7 Comments
Author: Adem Kassie Abebe
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Pretoria
Although the right to stand for elections is recognised as an essential aspect of the right to political participation, international human rights law does not specifically address the right of individuals to stand for elections as independent candidates, for example, without being a member of and sponsored by a political party. In fact, the only implied reference to independent candidacy is to be found in General Comment No 25 of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the organ in charge of monitoring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the right to participation. The Committee observes that “[t]he right of persons to stand for election should not be limited unreasonably by requiring candidates to be members of parties or of specific parties” (paragraph 21). What constitutes an “unreasonable” limit to the right of persons to stand for election is not apparent. As a result of the lack of a clear rule, the law and practice in relation to independent candidates varies across borders. In some countries, individuals must be members of political parties to be able to stand for election. In others, they may stand for elections as independent candidates. In some others, independent candidates are allowed in relation to local elections but not in relation to parliamentary and presidential elections.
It is within this context of uncertainty that the African Court had to decide whether the ban on independent candidacy in Tanzania was compatible with the right to equality, the right to political participation, and the right to association in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Tanganyika Law Society and The Legal and Human Rights Centre and Reverend Christopher Mtikila v The United Republic of Tanzania, Applications 009 and 011/2011). This case is interesting in many respects. Firstly, the case presented the African Court the first opportunity to address the margin of appreciation doctrine. Secondly, the application presented a test case to evaluate the trajectory of the African Court towards the jurisprudence of other international and regional human rights organs on similar issues. Thirdly, Tanzania is not the only African country that bans independent candidacy. The decision of the Court therefore has consequences for many other African countries.