This paper is predicated on a strong believe that the gender make up of African parliaments must reflect the gender demographics of African states. It is only when that is achieved that the concepts of equality, nondiscrimination and democracy can gain their true meaning. The paper asserts that the under-representation of women is prevalent amid the existence of international, regional and domestic instruments all providing for their right to representation in decision-making processes. Thus, it demonstrates that there is a gap between de jure and de facto representation. The paper then argues that the convoluted ideology of patriarchy, sacrosanct cultures, inviolable religions, the constructed public / private dichotomy, low levels of education, and the negative impact of globalisation all act in concert to deny African women their rightful place in decision-making institutions, particularly parliaments. The Rwandan and South African models are explored for purposes of gaining insights on how they have contrived to reach and exceed the critical mass of women in their parliaments. The study of these two countries' models shows that a combination of temporary special measures and gender mainstreaming, buttressed by strong legal and institutional frameworks, are effective tools in emancipating women and ensuring their representation in parliaments.
After 1997, the political status of Hong Kong was changed from that of a British dependant territory to a special administrative region of China, which is not an independent state. Although the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has acquired a certain degree of international legal personality in terms of international status and the ability to act within the system of international law, whether it can be treated as a subject of international law remains a moot point. In this article, I consider this question.
The Internet is a truly global medium that offers not only access to information, and facilitates communication, but unfortunately also provides access to a variety of inappropriate material. Online child pornography has not only become a lucrative industry, but has also led to the sexual exploitation and abuse of children worldwide. A balancing of interests is required : the rights of privacy and freedom of expression on the one hand, and the global protection of children and their rights on the other. This article looks at the various statutory measures introduced in primarily the US and Canada, in an effort to regulate child pornography on the Internet to determine whether they offer any guidelines that could be applied in the South African context. Other possible options for coping with this problem are evaluated. It seems that a combination of tactics, including statutory measures, filtering technologies, and self-regulation should be implemented to fight the war on child pornography.
The article, first, discusses the changes in emphasis in relation to abducting parents which courts seeking to apply the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction are faced. Today, more primary carers, especially mothers, seek to abduct children internationally to avoid dangerous or unpleasant conditions in the countries of habitual residence. The article contextually examines primarily Australian case law with a view to determining how courts here, and elsewhere have related to this apparent change. Although there have been senior appellate Australian decisions, the situation in fact, in this situation, it is difficult to predict Australian response. This is far from being ideal situation, not only for Australia but for other countries involved in the problem.
Humankind is threatened by global environmental problems. Several scholars and states have therefore proposed the application of the 'common heritage of mankind' (CHM) principle to areas that fall within the territories of state. This may strengthen the international management of important resources, such as the Amazon. In this article the author critically examines the CHM principle and its application to global environmental resources. The relevance of the so-called 'common concern of mankind' also receives attention. The author approaches the issue from a critical Southern perspective in order to determine what the implications for developing countries are and concludes that the application of the CHM principle may benefit the rich to the detriment of the people of developing countries. The incorrect application of CHM does not take account of the history and purpose of this principle and that it may even destroy the permanent sovereignty of developing states and result in an 'expropriation' of resources of the developing world. The article concludes with alternative proposals.
Proponents of International Criminal Law (ICL) argue that establishing international criminal courts would deter government officials and warlords from committing grave crimes against humanity, achieve justice and facilitate peace making in countries torn by crisis. This article tests the above theory by surveying of the practice of international criminal law in Africa. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as well as attempts by several African states to implement the Rome Statute or take advantage of its complementarity jurisdiction provide a context for assessing the value of ICL. This article concludes that while ICL has brought a number of war criminals and genocidiaries to justice in Africa, its prospects for peace, justice and deterrence remain elusive.
A critical discussion of Quagliani v President of the Republic of South Africa case 959/04 (TPD) (unreported); Van Rooyen / Brown v President of the Republic of South Africa case 28214/06 (TPD) (unreported) decided on 6 March 2008, and Goodwin v Director-General Department of Justice and Constitutional Development case 21142/08 (TPD) (unreported) decided on 23 June 2008.