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Human Rights

  • Banjul Charter and Universal Human Rights:A Comparative Analysis by Nneka Chukwumah
    This provides an introduction to the African legal philosophy on human rights; examines the distinct features of the African Charter and how it differs from the Universal Human Rights and other human rights regimes and broadly discusses the general norms incorporated in the Universal Covenant on Human Rights. In addition, the article analyses the ways in which the African Charter is similar or differs from the Universal Covenant on Human Rights and other regional human rights instruments. In so doing, the article highlights the areas in which the European and Latin American Human Rights instruments differ from the African Human Rights Charter.
  • Human Rights in the Uganda Constitution by Cosmas Gitta and Francis M. Ssekandi
    This seminal paper on the innovations introduced in the Uganda Constitution of 1995, reviews the constitutional changes in Uganda since its independence in 1962. In particular the article highlights the special attention paid in the new innovations in the constitution to foil further tampering with the constitution as was done in 1966 when Obote, as Prime Minister, removed the sitting President, abolished the Kingdom Governments and introduced a Republican constitution with himself as President under a drastically modified constitution of 1966. The 1966 constitution remained the blue print for Uganda until it was replaced through a legitimate process in 1995, attempts at restoring the 1962 having failed. The 1966 itself had to experience repeated assaults following the coup d?etat of 1972, the war of 1979 and the anarchy that ensued as well as the fraudulent elections of 1980 and the war of resistance led by Yoweri Museveni that ended in 1986. Museveni himself ruled until 1995 under the shreds of what was remaining of the 1966 constitution until the passing of the 1995 Constitution which remains today as the basic law of the land.

    The main contribution of the article is the review and rejection of Kelsen?s revolutionary legality theory that justified the overthrow of the Ugandan Constitution of 1992 and continued mutilation of the 1966 constitution that replaed it, by successive regimes, with impunity, as a result of the High Court decision in Matovu?s case. The Court in that case rejected the plea by the Applicants that the events in 1966 resulting in the overthrow of a constitutionally established government are political and non-justiciable. Instead, relying on Kelsen?s theory, the court ruled that "the events leading to the repudiation of the 1962 constitution and its replacement with the 1966 constitution were "law creating facts appropriately described in as a revolution", because "there was an abrupt political change, not contemplated by the existing Constitution, that destroyed the entire legal order and was superseded by a new Constitution.. and by effective government". The validation of an illegal regime by a court of law on an academic theory based on events long ago passed in Europe where the changes on which the theory was based were fundamental alterations of not only the legal order but the social fabric of society, in Russia (overthrow of the Czar) and France (Overthrow of the King Louis XVI) was unacceptable in the 21st Century to justify an illegal grab of power by or use of the military. It is proposed in the article that the illegal regime should be denied validation by the courts and instead forced to seek legitimation within at most six months from the people through elections.


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