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Kalu Kingsley Anele

Though Nigeria is inundated with human rights abuses, there is no procedure that could effectively accommodate a large number of victims in one litigation beside class action. Class litigation is limited in scope in Nigeria; hence, it cannot be applied in human rights cases. This has culminated in a culture of impunity by corporations in the country. This paper uses the class action legal regime in the United States to argue that the statutory introduction of a general class litigation regime will adequately address human rights violations in Nigeria. The author submits that beyond the legislative introduction of a general class action legal framework in Nigeria; judges should exercise their wide discretion as envisaged by the Nigerian constitution in civil matters to adjudicate human rights class litigations. Also, there is need to enlighten Nigerians of their human rights and an efficient procedure to address their violations: class action procedure.

Remus Valsan

This article explores the parallels between the fiduciary rule against conflicts of interest and the rule against bias in judicial review, with a view to providing novel normative insights into the purpose of the fiduciary rule. It argues that, analogous to the main purpose of the rule against bias, the fiduciary no-conflict rule aims to insulate the exercise of discretion from self-interest or other irrelevant considerations that may affect, directly or indirectly, the reliability and trustworthiness of the fiduciary’s decision-making process.

Patrick Agejoh Ageh and Namrita Lall

The relationship between plant resources and traditional communities in Africa is inseparable. For centuries, indigenous communities have been depending on their cultural innovations and practices for health and food. Plant resources are part of the traditional knowledge system of indigenous communities in Africa.

Colonialism and the scramble for Africa led to plant resources being opened to bioprospecting by western scientists and multinational pharmaceutical firms. They engage in secluded locations around Africa in order to find ‘new drugs from exotic plants’ for profit-making or patent rights. The advent of technology has witnessed a lot of illegal exploitation and commercialization of plant resources (biopiracy). The traditional knowledge system is being eroded with disregard to the welfare of the owners of the knowledge to sustainably manage it. The paper looks at the challenges, the existing legal framework to appreciate if it’s adequate to ensure the sustainability of the traditional knowledge system in Africa.

Lucie Tréguier and William van Caenegem

This article reviews the laws of France and of Australia in relation to artistic works copyright for useful articles. Australian law applies a different subsistence test to ‘applied art’ than to fine art, whereas French law makes no such distinction, applying the principle of ‘Unité de l’art’. The decision of the High Court of Australia in IceTV Pty Limited v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited [2009] 239 clr 458, which aligns the standard of originality more closely with that applied in European copyright law, invites reconsideration of the Australian approach in favour of a universal standard for all artistic works. A more contemporary understanding of what constitutes ‘art’ points in the same direction. In the result, there is no longer any need to apply a restrictive ‘artistic quality’ standard to works of applied art in Australia. Such an approach better aligns the tests of artistic copyright subsistence in different jurisdictions.

Adithya Krishna Chintapanti

In 1993, India adopted the neoliberal World Bank model for the electricity sector, which endeavoured to privatise the state owned sector. The move to privatise was prompted by sectoral losses owing to politicisation of provision and inefficient management of the state owned utility. This transition from a ‘welfare state’ to a ‘regulatory state’ was sought to be achieved through legislative enactment. By tracing the province of Andhra Pradesh’s implementation of the reform legislation, the paper evolves an alternate narrative of the reform process, as opposed the World Bank’s narrative of legislative enactment signalling the reception of its regulatory model. It argues that focussing on resistance to reform and actual ‘reception’ as opposed to formal enactment will counter the assumption of triumph of the neo-liberal worldview of the role of the state in economic activity.

Christof Heyns, Charles Fombad, Pansy Tlakula and Jimmy Kainja

The effective realisation of the right to political participation is essential for the legitimacy of political systems and for enabling the people to shape, and assume responsibility for, their lives. Although the right to political participation is recognised in article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as in other international treaties, its realisation in practice is often partial, it depends on the extent to which numerous interrelated rights, such as those to freedom of expression, access to information and peaceful protest, have been secured. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this article examines the right to political participation as set out in national constitutions and in the instruments of the United Nations, the African Union and sub-regional bodies. It also considers the role of social media in this context. The article concludes by suggesting how this crucial right could be implemented more effectively in Africa.

Jeffrey B. Meyers

Samuel J. Levine’s research and writing collected in the two-volume anthology, Jewish Law and American Law: A Comparative Study addresses the connection between contemporary American Law and ancient Talmudic Law through the lens of contemporary Constitutional Law and Professional Ethics. Professor Levine mines the legacy of the late Robert Cover and his theory of law and narrative in particular to draw out the similarities and differences between rabbinic interpretation of the Torah and judicial interpretation of the US Constitution. He also considers where Jewish ethics converge and diverge from professional rules of conduct in the legal profession. This article summarizes some of the key turns in Levine’s recently published collected works and reflects critically on their key themes.