SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.9 issue1The right of indigenous peoples to self-determination versus secession: One coin, two faces?Unaccompanied minor refugees and the protection of their socio-economic rights under human rights law author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X

Afr. hum. rights law j. vol.9 n.1 Pretoria  2009

 

ARTICLES

 

Inclusion by exclusion? An assessment of the justiciability of socio-economic rights under the 2005 Interim National Constitution of Sudan

 

 

Remember Miamingi

Senior Advocacy Officer, AfricaWide Movement for Children, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

 


SUMMARY

Section 22 of the Interim Constitution of Sudan states that socio-economic rights provided for under the Guiding Principles and Directives section are not justiciable. However, section 27(3) of the same Constitution states that every right and freedom provided for in international human rights instruments to which Sudan is a party forms an integral part of the Sudan Bill of Rights. Sudan is a party to, inter alia, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Each of these international human rights instruments provides for socio-economic rights. This article is an attempt to establish that, even though socio-economic rights are provided for under the Guiding Principles and Directives section of the Interim Constitution of Sudan, they are nonetheless justiciable. This is because socio-economic rights, excluded from the jurisdiction of the courts via section 22, have in fact been included by virtue of section 27(3). This paper argues that section 22 has been rendered redundant by section 27(3).


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

* LLB (Obafemi Awolowo), LLM (Human Rights and Démocratisation in Africa) (Pretoria), LLD candidate (Western Cape); remember.miamingi@gmail.com. This paper is substantially based on the author's LLM dissertation written at the University of the Western Cape and submitted to the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. I am greatly indebted to Prof Julia Sloth-Nielsen for reading through my draft and making useful comments, Prof Israel Leeman, Prof Pierre de Vos, Prof Christina Murray, Prof Danwood Chirwa and Dr Lilian Chenwi for their comments on the first draft of this paper. Errors of commission or omission are entirely mine. An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the meeting of partner faculties participating in the LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) held at the University of Pretoria, 8 and 9 December 2008.
1Ex parte Chairperson of Constitutional Assembly: In Re Certification of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 1996 4 SA 744 (CC), 1996 10 BCLR 77.
2 See generally F Viljoen International human rights law in Africa (2007).         [ Links ]
3 The Nigerian and Lesotho Constitutions provide examples for this method.
4 The South African Constitution is a good example.
5 E Mureinik 'A bridge to where? Introducing the interim Bill of Rights' (1994) 10 South African Journal on Human Rights 31.         [ Links ]
6 P Brest 'The fundamental rights controversy: The essential contradiction of normative constitutional scholarship' (1981) 90 Yale Law journal 1063.         [ Links ]
7 M Pieterse 'Coming to terms with judicial enforcement of socio-economic rights' (2004) 20 South African journal on Human Rights 383.         [ Links ]
8 Sec 11.
9 Sec 12(1).
10 Sec 12(2).
11 Sec 13(1)(a).
12 Sec 14.
13 Sec 13.
14 Sec 8.
15 Sec 15(1).
16 Sec 15(2).
17 Sec 19.
18 My emphasis. The intention is to show later on that sec 27(3) is already anticipated here.
19 See generally the Max Plank Institute of Public and International Law report of series of seminars they organised for scholars and jurists on the Sudanese Interim Constitution to discuss these provisions; http://www.mpil.de/shared/data/pdf/manualpapersandproceedingsof theheidelbergseminarson (accessed 31 March 2009).
20 Sudan has inter alia ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all of which provide for socio-economic rights.
21 Any conclusion reached as it is likely to be valid for all other instruments.
22 B de Villiers 'Directive principles of state policy and fundamental rights: The Indian experience' (1992) 8 South African journal on Human Rights 29.         [ Links ]
23 As above.
24 M Cranston 'Human rights real or supposed' in D Raphael (ed) Political theory and the rights of man (1967) 43.         [ Links ] See also C Sunstein 'Against positive rights: Why social and economic rights don't belong in the new constitutions of post-communist Europe' (1993) 1 East European Constitutional Review 35;         [ Links ] D Beatty 'The last generation: When rights lose their meaning' in D Beatty (ed) Human rights and judicial review: A comparative perspective (1994) 321;         [ Links ] D Davis 'The case against inclusion of socio-economic rights in a bill of rights except as directive principles' (1992) 8 South African Journal on Human Rights 476.         [ Links ]
25 N Haysom 'Constitutionalism, majoritarian democracy and socio-economic rights' (1992) 8 South African Journal on Human Rights 451.         [ Links ]
26 C Scott & P Macklem 'Constitutional ropes of sand or justiciable guarantees? Social rights in a new South African Constitution' (1992) 141 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1.         [ Links ]
27 As above.
28 W Nickel 'How human rights generate duties to protect and provide' (1993) 15 Human Rights Quarterly 76.         [ Links ]
29 D Bilchitz 'Towards a reasonable approach to the minimum core obligation: Laying the foundations for the future socio-economic rights jurisprudence' (2003) 19 South African Journal on Human Rights 1.         [ Links ]
30 H Ram 'Negative rights vs positive entitlements: A comparative study of judicial interpretation of rights in emerging neo-liberal economic order' (2000) 22 Human Rights Quarterly 1060.         [ Links ]
31 S Fredman 'Providing equality: Substantive equality and the positive duty to provide' (2005) 21 South African journal on Human Rights 163.         [ Links ]
32 M Wesson 'Grootboom and beyond: Reassessing the socio-economic jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court' (2004) 20 South African journal on Human Rights 284.         [ Links ]
33 This word was used by Lon Fuller to describe decisions that have potential implications for many interested parties and that have many complex and unpredictable social and economic repercussions, which inevitably vary for every subtle difference in the decision. See Pieterse (n 7 above) 383.
34 N Udombana 'Interpreting rights globally: Courts and constitutional rights in emerging democracies' (2005) 5 South African journal on Human Rights 47.         [ Links ]
35 J Ferejohn 'Judicialising politics, politicising law' (2002) 65 Law and Contemporary Problems 41.         [ Links ]
36 As above.
37 E de Wet Constitutional enforceability of economic and social rights: The meaning of the German constitutional model for South Africa (1996).         [ Links ]
38 C Mbazira 'Translating socio-economic rights from abstract paper rights to fully-fledged individual rights: Lessons from South Africa' (2006) 12 East African journal of Peace and Human Rights 183.         [ Links ]
39 M Scheinin 'Economic and social rights as legal rights' in A Eide et al (eds) Economic, social and cultural rights: A textbook (2005) 41.         [ Links ]
40 M Pieterse 'Possibilities and pitfalls in the domestic enforcement of social rights: Contemplating the South African experience' (2004) 26 Human Rights Quarterly 882.         [ Links ]
41 J Nickel 'How human rights generate duties to protect and provide' (1993) 14 Human Rights Quarterly 76.         [ Links ]
42 R Gittleman, as quoted in CA Odinkalu ' Implementing economic, social and cultural rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights' in M Evans & R Murray (eds) The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights: The system in practice 1986-2000 (2002) 137.         [ Links ]
43 J Gibson & G Caldiera 'Defenders of democracy? Legitimacy, popular acceptance, and the South African Constitutional Court' (2003) 2 The Journal of Politics 65.         [ Links ]
44 As above.
45 N Ibrahim 'The Sudanese Bill of Rights' (2008) 4 International Journal of Human Rights 613.         [ Links ]
46 As above. C Murray & C Maywald 'Subnational constitution making in Southern Sudan (2006) 37 Rutgers Law Journal 1203.         [ Links ]
47 Murray & Maywald (n 46 above).
48 L Garlicki 'Constitutional courts versus supreme courts' (2007) 5 International Journal of Constitutional Law 44.         [ Links ]
49 See, generally, Max Planck Institute (n 19 above). See also J Sloth-Nielson 'Measures to strengthen children's rights in the Constitution of Sudan' (2005),         [ Links ] report for Save the Children Sweden Kenya and South Sudan Office. A copy of the report can be obtained from Anna Lindenfors at office@swedsave-ke.org.
50 N Jayawickrama The judicial application of human rights law: National, regional and international jurisprudence (2002) 159.         [ Links ]
51 Secs 28-47 of Interim National Constitution (INC).
52 As above.
53 For a detailed discussion of these various positions, see Max Planck Institute (n 19 above).
54 Art 11 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.
55 Max Planck Report (n 19 above).
56 Judge Abdallah Ya'qoub of the Constitutional Court of Sudan is of the opinion that only post-INC treaties are referred to in art 27(3). See his submission at page 49 of the report (n 19 above).
57 Oxford English dictionary (2008) http://www.dictionary.oed.com (accessed 1 November 2008).         [ Links ]
58 The CPPR Committee Concluding Observations for 2007 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/AdvanceDocs/CCPR.C.SDN.CO.3.CRP.1.pdf (accessed 4 September 2008) para 8.         [ Links ]
59 The report is available at http://www.achpr.org/english/state_reports/sudan/sudan%2550_3_Rrport.pdf (accessed 1 November 2008) para 70.
60 See the full report at http://www.achpr.org/english/state_reports/Sudan/Sudan%20_3_Report.pdf (accessed 1 November 2008) para 13.
61 Ibrahim (n 45 above).
62 Secs 26, 27& 28 of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa provides an example.
63 Secs 26(1) & 27(1).
64 Secs 26(2) & 27(2).
65 Sec 28.
66 Secs 28(1)(c); 29(1)(a) & 35(2)(e). It is difficult to sustain this categorisation after the decision in Grootboom which is discussed below.
67 Secs 26(3) & 27(3).
68 De Villiers (n 22 above) 29.
69 Art 13 of the 1999 Constitution.
70 Art 6(6)(c).
71 n 18 above.
72 Except that sec 48 provides that 'the Bill of Rights shall be upheld, protected and applied by the Constitutional Court and other competent courts; the Human Rights Commission shall monitor its application in the state.' This provision could be interpreted to mean justiciability and enforceability of the provisions of the Bill of Rights.
73 Viljoen (n 2 above) 573.
74 See eg arts 58(2), 60(2), 66(e) & 79 where this expression is used.
75 Arts 91(2), 93(2) & 132.
76 Jimson v Botswana Building Society (2005) AHRLR 86 (BwlC 2003).
77 As discussed in the above case.
78 See, generally, A Clapham Human rights in the private sphere (1996);         [ Links ] A Clapham Human rights obligations of non-state actors (2006);         [ Links ] D Betz 'Holding multinational corporations responsible for human rights abuses committed by security forces in conflict-ridden nations: An argument against exporting federal jurisdiction for the purpose of regulating corporate behaviour abroad' (2001) 14 DePaul Business Law Journal 176;         [ Links ] A Ramasastry 'Corporate complicity: From Nuremberg to Rangoon - An examination of forced labour cases and their impact on the liability of multinational corporations' (2002) 20 Berkeley Journal of International Law 109;         [ Links ] A Clapham 'The question of jurisdiction under criminal law over legal persons: Lessons from the Rome Conference on an International Criminal Court' in MT Kamminga & S Zia-Zarifi Liability of multinational corporations under international law (2000) 178.         [ Links ]
79 J-M Henckaerts & L Doswald-Beck Customary international humanitarian law (2005).         [ Links ]
80 Clapham (2006) (n 78 above) 58.
81 (1987) 33 DLR (4th) 174.
82 D Beatty 'Constitutional conceits: The coercive authority of courts' (1987) 37 The University of Toronto Law Journal 186.         [ Links ]
83 n 76 above.
84 Social and Economic Rights Action Centre & Another v Nigeria (2001) AHRLR 60 (ACHPR 2001) (SERAC case).
85 SERAC case (n 84 above) para 44.
86 Maastricht Guidelines (1998) 20 Human Rights Quarterly 693 para 6.
87 SERAC case (n 84 above).
88 SERAC case (n 84 above) para 15.
89 (2000) AHRLR 66 (ACHPR 1995).
90 International Commission of Jurists Report on Socio-Economic Rights 2008, http://www.icj.org/publi_multi.php3?lang=en (accessed 31 March 2009).         [ Links ]
91 Committee on ESC General Comment 14E/C 12/2000/4, CESCR para 33.
92 2004 3 SCC 363.
93Compact Oxford English dictionary http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/guarantee?view=uk (accessed 1 September 2008).         [ Links ]
94 As above.
95 Arts 123, 124, 125, 126 & 127.
96 Art 119.
97 Garlicki (n 48 above) 44.
98 As above.
99 As above.
100 As above.
101 As above.
102 Sec 123(3).
103 Ibrahim (n 45 above) 630.
104 Secs 120 & 121.
105 Sec 122.
106 Sec 122(1)(b)(d).
107 Sec 122 & para 2.11.32 of the Power Sharing Agreement (Component of CPA).
108 Sec 119.
109 Sec 122 (c).
110 Sec 122.
111 Sec 27(3).
112 For a comprehensive review of the different methods of judicial review, see M Mohammed 'The emergence of constitutional courts and the protection of individual and human rights: A comparative study' in E Cotran & A Sharif (eds) The role of the judiciary in the protection of human rights (1997) 283.         [ Links ]
113 Secs 18-20 CCA.
114 http://www.mpil.de/shared/data/pdf/manual_papers_and_proceedings_of_the_ heidelberg_seminars_on_potential_disputes_before_the_sudanese_constitutional_court.pd (accessed 31 March 2009).
115 Secs 18(1)(a) & (d) CCA.
116 Sec 18 CCA.
117 Sec 29 CCA.
118 Constitutional Court Act 2005.

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License