Human rights: A comparative study of the current Zambian Bill of rights and the African charter on human and people's rights

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Siamoondo, Noel
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In the year 1987, Zambia ratified the African Charter on Human and People's Rights. The implication of such an undertaking is that it places a mandate on Zambia to honour the intemational obligations contained in this instrument as failure to do so would defeat the whole purpose of treaty ratification. This paper undertakes to compare the provisions of the current Zambian bill of rights to those of the African Charter. It must be mentioned that the documents under consideration are different in that while the Zambian bill of rights is a national law, applying only in one country, the African Charter is a regional instrument applying to countries signatory to it. It thus becomes a difficult task to find exact similarities in the formulation of the rights. Therefore, it will be necessary to draw implications from interpretation of various provisions where important points have not been explicitly made. It will do this by comparing the jurisprudence of the African commission on Human and People's Right to that of the Zambian Courts in terms of interpretation of the rights. The enforcement mechanisms of these rights provided for under both documents will also be examined. It will then become necessary to evaluate the protocol establishing the African Court for Human and People's Rights and how this special court will relate with the African Commission. The paper will conclude by giving a summary of the findings of each chapter and it shall recommend the domestication of the African Charter; abolition of the death penalty in Zambia or restrict the imposition of such a penalty to the most serious crimes; and finally, the enactment of a Freedom of Information Act.
Human rights-Zambia , Civil Rights-Zambia