03 July, 2008

African Court Of Justice and Human Rights!

It is said that the rights of humans- both individually and collectively as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) are universal, inalienable and immutable. However, there seems to be a new school of thought/concept of human rights developing especially among the international community in the west with regards to African affairs that African human rights can be abrogated under the guise of a now common cliché albeit lame excuse “African problems need an African Solution’”

For example if one unlawfully steals or forcefully takes away the rightful possession/life or even dignity of another in Africa the justiceable solution is not restitution but power sharing or division of the loot! At the same time its ironical that treaty organs set up by member states of the African Union such as the African Court of Peoples and Human Rights (ACPHR) and the proposed African Court of Justice (ACJ) are the most unknown, irrelevant, toothless, useless and hardly referred to international redress organs yet they are supposed to be the defenders of justice. I am sure that most of my readers don’t even know there is an African Court of Justice; this is especially so in the light of the different crisis that have hit the continent such as the Darfur-Somalia crisis, Congo/Sierra Leone wars, Zimbabwe Presidential poll impasse, Kenya post election violence, et cetera. The fore said treaty organs are no good than the paper they are enshrined in!

The world has quickly forgotten that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ and that all states have a collective duty to protect the universal fundamental rights ,freedoms and duties that make the possibility for justice to prevail world wide! The fact that injustice is a cancer is exemplified by the 2007 Kenyan election scenario which has now become the SI standard for African despots to follow –fraud has become a basic survival necessity for the power seekers and retainers. It is quite interesting to note how international protection of human rights has degenerated under the current watch of the UN Security Council in the recent past. The Nuremberg Tribunals pointed out that ‘international law imposes duties and liabilities upon individuals as well as states and that crimes against international law are committed by men and not by abstract entities, and that only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced. Now manifest breaches of international law, norms and opinion juris/jus cogens (loosely referring to state practice) are treated as “domestic affairs” and the UN turns a blind eye. What a fallacy- who is fooling who? Is international intervention justified only where oil, precious gems other natural emoluments and state economic interests are present? That has to stop-we all are humans created equal in all respects. Hitler and his generals are no worse than unmentionable African despots now reigning who use state machinery and security forces against their own citizens! Africa Union should be disbanded for its passive role, abject abandon and its aiding and abetting crimes by African states against their own citizenry. The AU has not lived to its mandate as set out in Set out in Article 3 and 4 of its constitutive Act/document

I write this post under the backdrop that a Kenyan Professor Githu Muigai has been appointed a Judgewhich peoples?)And Human Rights. of the African Court of People’s and Human Rights(ACPHR) which became effective on 30 July 2006.Congratulations are in order. He just goes to join another toothless bulldog but at least he will earn money and recognition for doing nothing and sitting tight! That is the African Court of “peoples”-(lends itself to the question


  1. How far the Human rights are respected there?

  2. Indeed Collins, I'm hearing of the African Court for the first time here. Not so surprising though, falling as it does, under the auspices of a piteous AU.

    With due respect to the good professor, what in the name of all that is upright, does he hope to do to his reputation by giving credence to an entity that is unlikely to do an honest days work? I'd imagine his CV by now is as bulky as they come.

  3. i concur with you hlumiti, he will accept after all its a prstigious honor but the ACJ has to change , and the member parties too because they have locus standii to institute cases against their fellow members, Selerines-Africa is not a jungle we enjoy a good measure of human rights even better than the states(guantanamo military prison is absurd)!

  4. i would like to link exchange, also do you have to be african to register with social sparks?

  5. Eiii even me I have heard of this today! There's such a court? I agree with you the AU needs to go! It does nothing. Let Githu Muigai go and do what Africans are so fond of doing, getting perks and recognition for doing nothing at all, it is our way of life after all.

  6. These are all very interesting comments. You can discuss this same campaign on facebook at the African Online Community in conjunction with Amnesty International at :




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