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Volume IV: Prosecutor v. Sankoh, Bockarie, Sesay, Kallon, Gbao (The RUF Case)
The Special Court for Sierra Leone was established through signature of a bilateral treaty between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone in early 2002, making it the third modern ad hoc international criminal tribunal. It has tried various persons, including former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor, for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed during the latter half of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. It completed its work in December 2013. A new Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Freetown and with offices in The Hague, has been created to carry out its essential “residual” functions.
This volume, which consists of three books and a CD-ROM and is edited by two legal experts on the Sierra Leone Court, completes the set of edited Law Reports started in 2012. Together, the Law Reports fill the gap of a single and authoritative reference source of the tribunal’s jurisprudence. The law reports are intended for national and international judges, lawyers, academics, students and other researchers as well as transitional justice practitioners in courts, tribunals and truth commissions, and anyone seeking an accurate record of the trials conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

N.B.: The hardback copy of this title contains a CD-ROM with the decisions that are reproduced in the book and the trial transcripts.
The e-book version does not.

Abstract

The paper highlights the historical development of grazing reserves in Nigeria, the recent violent clashes between pastoralists and farmers taking into consideration the effects of grazing on land, causes and consequences of farmer-pastoralist conflicts and the adequacy of grazing laws. The paper contends that the Grazing Reserve Law 1965 applicable only to States in Northern part of Nigeria have not adequately curb the incessant clashes between pastoralists and farmers and that some provisions of the National Grazing Reserve (Establishment) Bill 2016 conflict with farmers’ inalienable right to property as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and protection of propriety rights in land under the Land Use Act. The paper concludes by stating unambiguously that for lasting peace to reign between farmers and pastoralists. States should enact anti-grazing laws has done by Ekiti State which brought relative peace between pastoralists and farmers in the State.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies
Author: Obert Bore

Abstract

African regional trade agreements often provide for dispute settlement mechanisms and procedures that should be followed. They also establish judicial bodies or tribunals for the respective African Regional Economic Communities. Despite the existence of judicial bodies, African governments do not usually litigate against each other on trade-related disputes. However, the few cases adjudicated by the regional judicial bodies are insightful of how contemporary trade disputes shape the development of community law. With reference to case law, this article presents lessons from regional judicial bodies. Notwithstanding the lessons learnt, there are challenges too. In response to the challenges, new developments on the continent, adopted through the African Continental Free Trade Area signal a move towards respecting rules-based trade through ensuring legal predictability and certainty for trade dispute settlement. Thus, this article will also provide a detailed analysis of the dispute settlement mechanism under the African Continental Free Trade Area, a system akin to World Trade Organisation.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

Not many states have effective national laws on prosecution of international crimes. Presently, of the 124 states parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), less than half have specific national legislation incorporating international crimes. Some faith has been placed in the ordinary-crimes approach; the assumption being that states without effective laws on international crimes can prosecute on the basis of ordinary crimes. This article assesses the practicality of this approach with regard to the crime of rape in Uganda. Based on this assessment, the author draws a number of conclusions. First, that there are glaring gaps in the Ugandan definition of rape, making it impossible for it to be relied on. Secondly, although national courts have the option to interpret national laws with a view to aligning them with international law, the gaps salient in the definition of ordinary rape are too glaring; they cannot be remedied by way of interpretation without undermining the principle of legality. Thirdly, prosecuting the international crime of rape as an ordinary crime suggests that approaches applicable to the prosecution of ordinary rape will be invoked. Because these approaches were never intended to capture the reality of the international crime of rape, the ordinary-crimes approach remains illusory.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

Considering the reality that criminal proceedings suffer unwarranted delay due to spatial of antics habitually utilized by litigants to delay proceedings, this paper explores the judgment of the Supreme Court in Methu v FRN to determine whether, or not, exclusion of stay of proceedings is constitutional. The authors employed mainly doctrinal method, thus library based. It is established that antics and technicalities often employ by litigants/counsel in corruption cases constitute impediment to speedy trial of indicted individual in courts. The judgment under review validates the constitutionality of proscription of stay of proceedings and remedied the unwholesome attitude of litigants/counsel to deliberately delay/frustrate criminal proceedings. Similarly, the risk of denying the state of its synergy to fight corruption vide delay in securing expeditious hearing and trial of cases is extinguished and constitutional right of the accused, the victim of crime and the state to fair hearing within reasonable time reaffirmed. It is concluded that the innovative insertion of prohibition on stay of proceedings in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Act mechanisms put in place to check delay in prosecuting crime of corruption, and therefore, does not infringe on the fundamental right of an accused person to fair hearing.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

Governments often resort to communications surveillance in order to combat threats against national security. Communication surveillance infringes upon the right to privacy. In order to protect privacy, international law requires communication surveillance to be proportionate. However, very little has been written to justify why this right deserves such protection in Africa, given counter-arguments suggesting that where national security is threatened, the state must be permitted to do everything possible to avert the threat, and the protection of privacy is an inconvenience. This article addresses these counter-arguments by demonstrating that the right to privacy deserves protection because it is as important as defending national security. It analyses approaches taken by selected African countries to regulate authorisation of communication surveillance. This article questions the assumption that prior judicial authorisation is the ideal approach to regulating communication surveillance in order to guarantee proportionality, and it suggests a need to consider other alternatives.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

It is an essential ingredient of sovereignty that every State has an absolute jurisdiction to determine the laws that apply within its territory and to determine, by its laws, the organ of the State that has the competence to make laws and the procedures to be followed. The competent organ that makes municipal law (the legislature) is usually different from the organ that makes international law (the executive). As a result, and following the dictates of separation of powers, while the executive is competent to enter into treaties, its competence is eroded by the competence of the legislature when a treaty is intended to be applied to municipal subjects; such a treaty intrudes into the competence of the legislature. When this occurs, the municipal applicability of the treaty would turn on the requirements specified by municipal law. This is the function of section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). This section bars the executive from transforming its treaty-making power into legislative powers by requiring legislative approval for the application of a treaty in Nigeria. Expectedly, the section has been variously interpreted and applied by Nigerian courts. This paper examines the views expressed by the Supreme Court in JFS v. Brawal Line Ltd and argues that the Supreme Court failed to give proper expression to the dualist nature of that section.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

The use of specialised anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) to combat corruption is increasingly popular among African countries. This is no surprise considering the successes these agencies have recorded elsewhere in the world, on the strength of which they have been described as ‘the most innovative feature of the anti-corruption movement of the last two decades’. Yet while ACAs have been successful in other parts of the world, the same cannot be said of those in Africa generally and Nigeria in particular. Even with two ACAs – the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – corruption continues to soar in the country, making it necessary to examine the flaws of Nigeria’s ACAs. Focusing on a number of key characteristics of ACAs, this article analyses the role of the ICPC and EFCC in combating corruption in Nigeria. The main question the article seeks to answer is why corruption should be on the increase despite the fact that two specialised ACAs have been in existence for close to two decades.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

Indeed, intellectual property rights are not new to traditional African communities. Traditional legal systems of protection in Africa such as customary law protected the rights of members of these communities. These systems of protection are still used. There are also practices of monopoly from the past regarding the use of some products of creative works. This paper examines the various ways in which traditional intellectual properties have been protected over the years which are similar in some ways to modern intellectual property rights. Thus, proposing that the adoption of a pluralistic protection mechanism (legal pluralism) for traditional intellectual properties could resolve legal issues related to them in Africa.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies

Abstract

Men and women have different health profiles which necessitate different health needs, as a result of their biology and their distinct status in society. Discrimination and harmful traditional practices in many societies in the global south further affect the reproductive health of indigenous women. The paper will highlight discrimination against women in patriarchal indigenous communities in Cameroon. The paper focuses on violations that affect women’s reproductive health. The paper will discuss these violations in light of the country’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 on good health and well-being and Goal No. 5 on gender equality. The paper will also highlight the national and international laws addressing the right to the reproductive health of indigenous women. It will also examine gender-sensitive interventions, legislation and policies put in place by the indigenous community and the Government of Cameroon if any. The paper will end with conclusion and suggestions/recommendations on ways to improve the reproductive health of indigenous women in Cameroon.

In: African Journal of Legal Studies