African Journal of Legal Studies

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2210-9730 / 1708-7384
Published by: Brill Academic Publishers (10.1163)
Total articles ≅ 197
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Latest articles in this journal

Terence M Mashingaidze
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-17;

This article calls for the location of victimhood rather than political convenience at the centre of Zimbabwe’s peace-building matrix. From the attainment of independence in 1980 to the military assisted end of President Robert Mugabe’s rule in November 2017, Zimbabwe’s episodic cycles of violence were concluded through elite bargained amnesty ordinances, state mediated reconciliation pronouncements and clemency orders that unconditionally benefitted perpetrators at the expense of victims. The forgive-and-forget ethic central to these routine and fractional peace building measures, I argue, not only disregarded the rule of law but negated victimhood and rendered justice divisible. Victims of politically motivated violence could not secure redress through the courts of law against amnestied perpetrators as this would amount to double jeopardy. The government withheld prosecutorial justice against perpetrators and disregarded reparations for victims. Within the national legislative framework ordinary legislators could not move motions compelling the government to compensate survivors of violence because only the vice-presidents and ministers could move motions that had the consequence of either depleting state revenues or causing the imposition of additional taxes on citizens. Considering that ministers who had the prerogative to move such motions served in cabinet at the behest of their intractable president they could hardly embarrass or contradict their principal. Essentially, the Robert Mugabe led Zimbabwean government established legal firewalls for perpetrators of politically motivated violence which ipso facto invalidated the quest for justice by victims of the country’s ever recurring cycles of violence. This authoritarian legalism disregarded victimhood and emboldened human rights violators.
Oyeniyi Abe, Akinyi J. Eurallyah
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-24;

While the dawn of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions have aided in solving some of societal challenges, globalization and technological innovation potentially have the capability to disrupt, suspend, or change existing legal order, preventing the realization of business and human rights principles. For example, with AI-enabled systems, Africans can now access better healthcare, education, health, and transportation. However, AI has the potential to undermine human rights concerns. This article contextualizes the usage of AI systems and its implications for human rights violations. With particular reference to Africa, it gives an overarching context capable of constructing legal reactions to corporate related human rights violations. Some of the questions posed are: What are the ways human rights can be protected from exploitative tendencies of AI companies? How can African states, and businesses respond to regulatory challenges triggered by loss of work due to automation? What innovations and new methodologies are to be designed to engage with a sustainable and automated future? Finally, we propose reforms for corporate entities developing and deploying AI to respect human rights.
Ismaelline Eba Nguema
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-15;

The crisis of political representation in Central Africa is structural. It is intrinsically linked to the failure of democracy in the region. All states of Central Africa are states of law in which the people have a major role to play as the holders of national sovereignty. In fact, the presidential regime allows the president of the republic to concentrate all powers. At each constitutional revision, the chief executive affirms his supremacy over the nation. Such a situation combined with the absence of political alternation in Central Africa is leading to a rejection of political representation by an ever growing segment of the population.
Marcus Ayodeji Araromi, Deborah D. Adeyemo
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 13, pp 244-278;

Though Nigeria is regarded as a secular state, there are two major religions which are predominantly practiced. Religious sentiments have permeated the societal space in Nigeria and often times the ardent practice and observance of religious tenets lead to perennial conflicts with governmental policies. It is one of the fundamental precepts of human rights that the religious belief of individuals should be respected, therefore the provision for the protection of right to religion in the national laws and some international instruments. The education system requires specific dress codes which must be observed. It is against this backdrop that this paper examines the right to practice religion in Nigeria and the obvious conflicts between this practice and policies in the Nigerian education system particularly at primary and post-primary school levels. The paper addresses the scope of the right to practice one’s religion under the law vis-à-vis governmental policies in educational institutions.
Jetu Edosa Chewaka
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 13, pp 327-348;

Bigamous marriage has been outlawed under the Family and Criminal Codes of Ethiopia despite its wide practice in Ethiopia. This article examines the legality of judicial recognition of the effects of bigamous marriage by the Federal Supreme Court Cassation and its implications for the regulation of marriage. The article reviews the substance of the current family laws in light of selected decisions of Federal Supreme Court Cassation on bigamous marriage by juxtaposing principles of legal interpretation. The article argues that the recognition of outlawed bigamous marriage by the Federal Supreme Court Cassation, even for relief purposes, amounts to an act of judicial law-making. The Court’s reasoning based on the gap-filling role of the judiciary under the guise of the necessity to address problems of bigamous marriage as a ‘social reality’ deviates from the purpose of the current rules under the family law that were deliberately designed to regulate monogamous marriage.
Bright Nkrumah
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 13, pp 307-326;

As the world mourns and condemns the brutal death of George Floyd by police brutality, one cannot ignore, but reflect on similar atrocities committed against hundreds of Africans by virtue of their skin pigmentation. These victims are Africans with albinism (AwA). Widespread discrimination and targeted attacks against these individuals occur against the backdrop of an erroneous mythology that the body parts of AwA have magic powers which could enhance electoral victory, guarantee bumper harvest, cure medical complications and bring riches. Indeed, many states have attempted to avert further abuse by arresting and prosecuting perpetrators. Yet, violations abound. By June 2020, more than 200 Africans with albinism have been killed in 30 African countries, and a disproportionate percentage has been subjected to abduction, rape and violent attacks. These atrocities question the effectiveness of existing (inter)national human rights mechanisms in safeguarding vulnerable populations from their attackers. Coincidentally, the day June 13 is significant as it marks the 5th Anniversary of the International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD). While reminding us to combat different forms of discrimination faced by AwA, the day also starkly entreats us to survey the level of legal safeguard afforded this vulnerable community in the region. In a bid to forestall further attacks, the paper argues that while it may be vital for the international community to adopt an overarching binding legal instrument speaking to the protection of AwA, African countries should use the IAAD to reinforce information dissemination and awareness campaigns to destigmatize albinism in local communities.
Chidebe Matthew Nwankwo
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 13, pp 279-306;

The spate of violent clashes between nomadic pastoralists and agrarian communities in Nigeria raises a number of legal and policy questions that had been long overlooked. Issues arising from the phenomenon range from questions over constitutionally guaranteed rights such as the right to own property, to questions over the inadequacies of Nigeria’s security apparatus as well as calls for land use reforms. Additionally, due to the groups affected and the scale of casualties, the topic has become a political molten magma. The constant conflicts between nomadic pastoralists who are majorly from the Fulani ethnic group, and agrarian communities from other parts of the country have reached unprecedented levels leading to accusations of coordinated attempts at land grab, ethnic cleansing, jihad and insurgency, threatening the country’s security and stability in the process. Fiscally, the destruction of lives and property and the state of insecurity emanating from the clashes stood at $16 billion in potential revenue as at 2018. In no small measure have these clashes been precipitated by climate change and the consequent drought in the Sahara region. This paper analyses the role of the Nigerian state in balancing the interests of affected groups in the clashes and promoting development. At its core, it seeks to identify legal and policy gaps that require filling to put a definite end to the lingering crisis.
J. Osei-Tutu
African Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 13, pp 193-194;

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