Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Law, Democracy and Development]]> vol. 26 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>"Public health emergency declarations" in the Ethiopian federal system: understanding the scope of state and federal emergency declarations and authorities</b>]]> Infectious agents posing a human security threat have been recorded throughout history. Today, COVID-19 poses a serious human security threat in the world, forcing governments to take extraordinary measures. Extraordinary measures, such as declarations of a state of emergency, basically determine the legal and operational resources available to respond to an emergency. Hence, it has implications for governments, the private sector and the general public. The legal authority of the state of emergency declarations during public health crises in federal countries basically relies on the emergency powers vested in the levels of government. Understanding the scope of state and federal emergency declarations and authorities and how they interact is, therefore, an important part of preparing for, and responding to, "public health emergencies". This article, through a detailed examination of relevant laws and other countries' experiences, attempts to shed light on the "public health emergency declaration" in Ethiopia with a particular focus on understanding the scope of state and federal emergency declarations and authorities. <![CDATA[<b>Concurrent national and provincial legislative competence: Rethinking the relationship between nature reserves and national parks</b>]]> The teleology of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence in South Africa's Constitution has not been adequately investigated, particularly from the perspective of nature conservation and the establishment of protected areas. It is, therefore, questioned whether the concurrent nature conservation competence awarded to the national sphere of government should be equivalent to that awarded to the provinces, or if it precludes the national government from having a greater status than the provinces. It is further questioned whether the provisions of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEMPAA) accurately reflect the constitutional weighting, if any, granted to these two spheres of government by this provision. It is concluded that the concurrent national and provincial legislative competence in respect of nature conservation is most likely to be, at least, equally balanced between the two spheres of government. Contrary to this finding, it is noted that the NEMPAA grants national parks a significantly higher conservation status than nature reserves by diminishing the status and scope the provinces had prior to the promulgation of the Act. It is further concluded that, in this instance, provisions of the NEMPAA are most likely to be unconstitutional. It is recommended that these two kinds of protected areas be consolidated into one category or critically evaluated to correct potentially incorrect categorisation. It is also recommended that the NEMPAA be substantially revised to correct a number of anomalies and illogical provisions. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of socio-legal inequality on women in the Nigerian domestic work sector</b>]]> This article examines the impact of socio-legal inequality on the work conditions of female domestic workers in Nigeria. Domestic work is an important aspect of productive labour and an indispensable factor that contributes to the well-being of households and the economy. However, domestic workers face challenges that are multidimensional and gendered; they are often victims of physical and sexual abuse, and experience discrimination concerning pay, working conditions, and legal rights. These exploitations could be partly attributed to gaps in labour and social security regulations. Based on a survey conducted of 220 domestic workers from four geopolitical zones in Nigeria, this study provides a nuanced assessment of the manifestations of inequality in the domestic work sector. Although the working conditions of Nigerian domestic workers are objectionable and exploitative, this study finds that conditions of work for female domestic workers are even more precarious. <![CDATA[<b>Black economic empowerment in South Africa: Is transformation of the management structures of enterprises as essential as it should be?</b>]]> Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) was launched as an integrated policy initiative to empower black people and redistribute wealth across the spectrum of South Africa's population. The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003, as amended in 2013, was enacted to correct the imbalances of apartheid and promote transformation of the economy. The Codes of Good Practice adopted in terms of the Act were promulgated to provide a standard by which the BEE rating of enterprises can be calculated. BEE ratings are important to enterprises since enterprises use them to attract and retain clients: the higher an enterprise's BEE rating, the more it is likely to benefit financially. It is for this reason that it is in most enterprises' interests to have a good BEE rating. The BEE rating of an enterprise is calculated by using the rules and formulae in the Codes of Good Practice. However, despite the objectives of the Act, enterprises are able to obtain good BEE ratings even where a low percentage of black people form part of their management structures. It is important to determine how this is possible. This article exposes shortcomings in the existing BEE legal framework that make it possible for enterprises to obtain good BEE ratings under such circumstances. <![CDATA[<b>Examining the interpretation of section 115(2)(a) of the Companies Act of 2008</b>]]> For the purposes of protecting the rights and interests of sharehoIders, section 115(2)(a) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 is imperative and essential. The section and its concomitant provisions are beginning to find their footing before South African courts. One of the occasions when the imperative nature of the section is seen is when directors take part in decision-making where companies intend to enter into share buy-back schemes of arrangement. In that respect, the clarity and precision of the section has so far received Iimited scrutiny. To compound matters, even before the roIe shareholders are expected to play has been thoroughIy scrutinised, the sections relating to shareholders' exercise of power are currently the subject of a proposed repeaI. FortunateIy, recent judgments have begun to provide insight into the interpretation of section 115(2)(a), and the same can be said with respect to simiIar sections from other jurisdictions. This contribution examines these Iatter sections. It chiefIy shows that the judgments consuIted regard shareholder protection, not as a straight-jacket; the protection has its pitfalls. Meritoriously, it shows how courts interpret section 115(2)(a) to protect shareholders from the pitfalls by promoting/advancing shareholder protection. The judgments also speak with one voice in their interpretation of provisions aimed at maintaining the necessary balance between the rights and interests of company stakeholders. Essentially, the judgments admirably show that the process of finding that balance is a delicate exercise.