Author

Evan Longo

Abstract

Article 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Right has been viewed similarly to the individual right to a satisfactory environment within international law. The African Charter however differs from the broader conception of the right to a satisfactory environment by expressing the right as a peoples' and not an individual right. Unlike previous authors, I argue that the fact that article 24 of the charter characterizes the right, as a peoples' right is significant and cannot be ignored. The SERAC v. Nigeria communication in the African commission is the only time in which the right to a satisfactory environment has been significantly dealt with in the African Commission. The case articulated the substantive aspects of article 24 but was also important for its understanding of the concept of peoples'. This paper seeks to clarify the similarities and differences in the conception of a right to a satisfactory environment in the universal and African systems of human rights. It will explore the question of why article 24 is structured as a peoples' right and not an individual right, and how this articulation of the right may be useful or problematic in the African context. I argue that because of the collective nature of article 24, the peoples' right to a satisfactory environment in the African Charter has deep connections with modern forms of foreign oppression, and other collective rights, particularly the right to self-determination. In order to demonstrate this I will describe the right to a satisfactory environment as it is conceived generally in international law and more specifically within Africa. Next, I will examine the concept of peoples' and its connection with the right to self-determination, as it is understood generally in international law and particularly in Africa. I will then explain the functions of article 24 and its place in the African Charter as a peoples' right. Finally, I will examine the strengths and weaknesses of conceiving the right to a satisfactory environment as a collective right and what conclusions may be drawn for current and future articulations of the right.

Department

Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date

6-1-2011

Online Submission Date

May 2011

First Advisor

Lorite, Alejandro

Second Advisor

Monforte, Tanya

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Extent

NA

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Human rights -- Africa.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Civil rights -- Africa.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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