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Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa

By: Kolawole Olaniyan
Media of Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa
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Published: 29-09-2016
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 440
ISBN: 9781509908455
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £27.99
Online price : £25.19
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Loren Epson

About Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa

This important new book provides a framework for complementarity between promoting and protecting human rights and combating corruption. The book makes three major points regarding the relationship between corruption and human rights law. First, corruption per se is a human rights violation, insofar as it interferes with the right of the people to dispose of their natural wealth and resources and thereby increases poverty and frustrates socio-economic development. Second, corruption leads to a multitude of human rights violations. Third, the book demonstrates that human rights mechanisms have the capacity to provide more effective remedies to victims of corruption than can other criminal and civil legal mechanisms.

The book takes up one of the pervasive problems of governance--large-scale corruption--to examine its impact on human rights and the degree to which a human rights approach to confronting corruption can buttress the traditional criminal law response. It examines three major aspects of human rights in practice--the importance of governing structures in the implementation and enjoyment of human rights, the relationship between corruption, poverty and underdevelopment, and the threat that systemic poverty poses to the entire human rights edifice.

The book is a very significant contribution to the literature on good governance, human rights and the rule of law in Africa.

Table Of Contents

Part I: Framework
1 Corruption and Human Rights Law: Historical and Conceptual Frameworks
2 The International Dimensions of Corruption and Money Laundering
Part II: National and International Laws against Corruption
3 National Legal Frameworks for Fighting Corruption in Africa
4 International Legal Frameworks for Fighting Corruption across
Part III: Human Rights Law and Corruption
5 Effects of Corruption on Human and Peoples' Rights
6 The Potential of Human Rights Law in Combating Corruption in Africa
7 Conclusions


“Kolawole Olaniyan, as a well known and respected human rights activist in the African human rights system, is well placed to write on this topic. The issue is contemporary and politically relevant and a book which focuses on the legal framework in the African continent is a very welcome addition to the literature and debate in this area.” –  Professor Rachel Murray Director, Human Rights Implementation Centre University of Bristol,

“Kolawole Olaniyan has taken up one of the pervasive problems of governance, large-scale corruption, to examine its impact on human rights and the degree to which a human rights approach to confronting corruption can buttress the traditional criminal law response. His focus is Africa, but the valuable lessons he teaches in this comprehensive study can resonate throughout the world. The result is a comprehensive and holistic legal framework for addressing some of the root causes of human rights violations and poverty, not only in Africa, but wherever corruption exists.” –  Dinah Shelton Manatt/Ahn Professor of Law (emeritus) The George Washington University Law School,

“This book demonstrates the author's mastery of complex jurisprudential and theoretical discourses. His review of the existing literature is extensive, the doctrinal analysis rigorous and the treatment of the subject innovative. Dr. Olaniyan's willingness to introduce fresh eyes to the ways in which doctrine contributes to an understanding of seemingly mundane problems lays the foundation for fertile trajectories from which future scholars can launch exciting inquiries on the relationship between corruption and human rights. Overall, this book makes an important and valuable contribution to the growth and understanding of the corruption/human rights discourse as it is presently constructed.” –  Ndiva Kofele-Kale, University Distinguished Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, USA,

“Kolawole Olaniyan, a leading African rights scholar-activist, has written a deeply penetrating and pioneering book on the causes and horrendous effects of corruption in Africa. The work couldn't come at a more timely period as Africa is poised to surge due to the enormous natural resources being discovered there. But dramatic prosperity, which is expected to lift the continent from underdevelopment, simply won't happen unless leaders heed Olaniyan's bold call to curb corruption, respect basic human rights, and create democratic government.” –  Makau Mutua Dean & SUNY Distinguished Professor Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar,

“Dr. Kolawole Olaniyan has brought fresh thinking into an area often neglected or not emphasized particularly in developing countries. The book makes a meaningful contribution to the field and the literature on the intersection between corruption and the lack of realization of human rights, particularly socio-economic rights. I commend Dr. Olaniyan for his fine work. Academics, researchers, policy makers and activists will find the book very useful in their various work areas.” –  Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle, Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

“Mr Kolawole Olaniyan, one of the leading African human rights activists and renowned scholars, in his well written and researched book on the effects of corruption on the peoples of Africa, has gone an extra mile in bringing this social cancer to the attention of African leaders and people. Mr Olaniyan has most effectively and brilliantly demonstrated the interface between corruption and the protections that are provided by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, a Treaty that protects and promotes human and peoples' rights in Africa. The book is a scholarly masterpiece, an instructive and timely resource which is a must read for everyone.” –  H.E. Judge Sanji Monageng, 1st Vice-President Presidency International Criminal Court and former chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights,

“Corruption is a scourge of the world today, damaging human rights and deepening poverty and inequality. Kolawole Olaniyan has powerfully portrayed corruption as a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. In this timely work, Olaniyan shows how the Charter can serve as a solid legal framework to complement the traditional but often less effective criminal law instrument against corruption. The book focuses on Africa but its legal analysis will resonate wherever corruption exists. This book is an important contribution to the corruption and human rights debate-- and hopefully should help create change.” –  Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General,

“This book represents a scholarship that responds to the urgent governance need in Africa; a provocative endeavour that casts a different light on the understanding of corruption and an ingenious exposé that elevates corruption to an existential threat to human rights in the continent. The ability of author to weave this compelling narrative is both profound and commendable…This scholarly treatise is quite accessible and should be a must-read for all judges, lawyers, students, academics and policy makers. Dr. Olaniyan provides a constructive and comprehensive contribution to an ongoing debate. For this we are indebted.” –  Abdul Tejan-Cole, Executive Director of Open Society Initiative for West Africa and former head of Sierra Leone's Anti-Corruption Commission.,

“This scholarly treatise is quite accessible and should be a must-read for all judges, lawyers, students, academics, policy makers and civil society actors. Olaniyan provides a constructive and comprehensive contribution to an ongoing debate.” –  Abdul Tejan-Cole, International Human Rights Law Review

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