Human Rights

The Performance of Africa's International Court: Book Review

The book is a robust piece of work that covers assessment of different subject matters in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, the defunct Southern African Development Community Tribunal, and the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (the ECCJ). However, this review will centre on the chapters which focus on the ECCJ. This is not in any way a dismissal of chapters dedicated to other courts, it is simply in a bid to streamline this review and also a reflection of the specific research interest of the writer i.e. the quality of the ECCJ.

The Role of the Constitution and Courts in the Making and Implementation of Foreign Policy

The courts, utilising their Constitution given powers, have in certain cases declared foreign policy unconstitutional for being inconsistent with the Constitution. The courts have also interpreted foreign policy in order to bring it in line with the Constitution. In so doing, it can be argued that courts have invariably played a role in the making and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.

International Women’s Day: In Conversation with Professor Abbe Brown

To mark the 2021 International Women’s Day themed #Choose to Challenge, Afronomicslaw.org celebrates Professor Abbe Brown’s brilliant contributions to Intellectual Property Law. Professor Brown is the Dean for Student Support at the University of Aberdeen, Vice Chair of BILETA (British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association) and Member of a high-level expert working group on genome editing and patents.

Research-to-Policy Transitions in International Economic Law

Conventional approaches view researchers as detached observers who can objectively analyse and explain the world, and policymakers as mobilising evidence to inform decisions. This paradigm can translate into institutionalised arrangements for linking research to policy. The UNCITRAL Working Group and the Academic Forum on ISDS provide one example, whereby scholars supply legal and empirical analysis for the Working Group’s deliberations.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): A Dilemma for People and Human Rights in the Global South?

The current century's threat to communities, including climate change and vast and deepening inequalities, may be aggravated by the Agreement. By limiting the power of governments to govern in the interests of the community and the environment, and bolstering a regulatory framework intended to advance the interest of multi-national corporations and only the wealthiest people, trade and investment agreements deepen issues of human rights. The RCEP may, as a consequence, advertently exclude marginalised groups, including women, indigenous peoples, migrants and essentially those without any capital or political power. 

The Law of Global Value Chains as Transmission Nodes for Global Inequality

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the current patterns of production and consumption, exemplified by GVCs and the global trade and investment order in which they operate. These fragilities have resulted in the aforementioned social, economic and financial crises but what they represent most of all, is a crisis of responsibility in which powerful actors, state and private, that have been the main beneficiaries of GVCs, have failed to discharge their ethical and normative obligations to those most vulnerable within their production and supply chains. To this end, a new approach is sorely needed to address the vulnerabilities of a global economy built on fragile GVC governance that serves as new nodes of global inequality and precarity.

International Law and Decolonisation in Africa: 60 Years Later

I propose that it is our current and future battles that will determine the meaning and impact of decolonisation in Africa and beyond. As things stand now, the dead are certainly not safe. Let me elaborate on this claim drawing from Professor Taylor’s work: his piece draws from the classics of Third Worldist Marxism and dependency theory to provide a sober account of Africa’s nominally post-colonial present.

Where are all the T-Shaped International Lawyers?: Thoughts on Critical Teaching from a Practitioner’s Perspective

Traditional international law (IL) teaching and research has reached an inflection point (TRILA Report, 24).  Content-wise it has long been monopolised by the usual suspects: sources of law, treaties, statehood, territory, jurisdiction and specific values such as universality and equality among states. The most conservative IL scholars will smirk at the thought of alternative ‘transnational’ or ‘Third World’ approaches to IL. To be fair to them, lawyers are fond of compartmentalising. We have those that do private law, public law, human rights, international economic law, law and development, business and human rights law, health law, dispute resolution law, to name a few. Yet as the current pandemic is showing this type of boxed thinking cannot provide the tools for meaningful teaching and research about today’s legal conundrums. We live in an uncertain world in which one issue can raise a myriad of legal problems that straddle multiple fields of law.