ICJ

Crucial role for Africa's courts in preventing electoral violence

As judicial interest grows in the role that judges and courts should play relative to elections, the president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has addressed a conference of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Kenya on the issue. Among other questions, Justice Imani Aboud discussed the contribution that courts can make, through their work as arbiters of the law, that would help assure voters, and politicians, that elections are fair, and thus help reduce the likelihood of violence related to polls. 

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The president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Imani Aboud, says that courts in Africa are asserting themselves, even ‘venturing into the political space’ in an effort to ensure that electoral disputes are settled quickly and fairly.

SADC and Covid-19: collective failure to meet human rights obligations says ICJ

The International Commission of Jurists has brought out a briefing paper on access to Covid-19 vaccines in the Southern Africa Development Community states. The report is called, ‘The Unvaccinated: Equality not Charity in Southern Africa’. It finds a collective failure to ensure access to vaccines even though more than 60 000 people have died due to the virus and the lives of countless others have been affected. The failure was caused by a number of factors, according to the report.

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The shock statistic with which this report begins puts the argument behind the briefing paper into stark perspective: by the start of May 2021, most Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states had fully vaccinated ‘no more than 0.6 percent of their population’.

Courts should not give up their position as ‘last resort protection’ under COVID-19 regulations

Courts should beware of giving up their role of protecting fundamental rights during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Tim Fish Hodgson, legal advisor with the International Commission of Jurists, Africa. Interviewed online on how COVID-19 regulations were impacting on socio-economic rights wordwide, he said that in many countries, courts were no longer as willing to consider cases involving infringements of rights. They took the view that, under an emergency situation, judges 'need to defer'.

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In a new online interview, the International Commission of Jurists, Africa, legal advisor, Tim Fish Hodgson has warned of a developing trend among judges in many parts of the world under the current pandemic.

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