Integrated Human Rights in Practice
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Integrated Human Rights in Practice

Rewriting Human Rights Decisions

Edited by Eva Brems and Ellen Desmet

This book aims to introduce concrete and innovative proposals for a holistic approach to supranational human rights justice through a hands-on legal exercise: the rewriting of decisions of supranational human rights monitoring bodies. The contributing scholars have thus redrafted crucial passages of landmark human rights judgments and decisions, ‘as if human rights law were really one’, borrowing or taking inspiration from developments and interpretations throughout the whole multi-layered human rights protection system. In addition to the rewriting exercise, the contributors have outlined the methodology and/or theoretical framework that guided their approaches and explain how human rights monitoring bodies may adopt an integrated approach to human rights law.
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Chapter 15: Rewriting Social and Economic Rights Action Center and the Center for Economic and Social Rights v Nigeria (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights): pushing indigenous peoples’ rights in Africa forward

Stefaan Smis and Derek Inman


The purpose of this chapter is to rewrite the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) and the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) v Nigeria (Ogoni) decision, taking into account recent developments with regard to indigenous peoples’ rights. In particular, this chapter focusses upon peoples’ rights and indigenous peoples’ rights in Africa; indigenous peoples’ land rights; and, indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). In an effort to clarify the elements that have been added to the rewritten Ogoni decision, the chapter begins by highlighting the uniqueness of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which allows for the integration of international and regional legal sources in the decision-making process of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). Subsequently, the growing relationship between ‘peoples’’ rights and indigenous peoples’ rights in the African context is examined, and the development of indigenous peoples’ land rights at the international and regional levels is explored. Finally, the chapter summarizes the development of FPIC at both international and regional level, a principle that is at the heart of indigenous peoples’ claims but one that has been barely touched upon by the ACHPR.

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