Judicial approach for realisation of economic, social and cultural rights in Africa: Challenges of enforcement in Nigeria
Hanafi A Hammed, Daniel F Atidoga
One of the arguments on the justiciability and enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is that, they are nebulous and that their contents are complicated to comprehensively delineate. While Civil and Political Rights provides clear guidance on the requirements for their enforcement, ESCR merely set out aspirational and political goals. The content of ESCR, such as right to health, housing, education and social security lack clear definition and offer no obvious standard by which a state can determine whether an act or omission conforms to the right or diverges from it. Article 2 (1) of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights appreciates the progressive realisation of the rights. However, it makes clear that not every duties arising from the obligations set out in the Covenant is qualified by this idea of progressive realisation because some duties have immediate effect. This paper examines the enforcement and justiciability of ESCR through judicial approach in Africa and challenges on the enforcement of ESCR in Nigeria. This paper reveals that lack of clear specificity on the exact content of ESCR and the legal obligations that stem from them without certainty impede their judicial enforcement. The paper concludes that there is need for equal enforcement of all human rights without discrimination. Also, that the legal and institutional frameworks put in place in African countries to fight corrupt practices and violations of human rights need to be readdressed in order to make African leaders be accountable for their misdeeds.
Hanafi A Hammed, Daniel F Atidoga. Judicial approach for realisation of economic, social and cultural rights in Africa: Challenges of enforcement in Nigeria. International Journal of Law, Volume 7, Issue 5, 2021, Pages 25-32