Skip to main content

Between 2014 and 2024, the judges and legal community attending the annual African Regional Judges’ Forum (ARJF) have discussed various cases that have advanced human rights and equity across the continent. We thank co-chairs of the Forum, Justice Dingake and Justice Tshiqi, and the many judges who shared valuable insights into their decision-making processes over the past decade. This compendium summarises these case discussions.

Part I includes summaries of precedential human rights rulings from across the continent, ranging from the right to health to equality, civic rights, criminal justice, and environmental rights.

Cases from 13 African countries are represented, providing a comprehensive view of human rights cases decided in the best interests of all persons and the long-term development of African nations. The case compendium serves as a reference for future decisions, thus summarising the current state of human rights across the continent and facilitating the pan-African exchange of precedential rights-based rulings. Case summaries are linked through QR codes to online judgements for easy access.

Part II provides key excerpts from cases showing the care and diligence judges in the region have applied in their reasoning. The excerpts are indicative of constitutional interpretation that respects the universality of human rights in a context where States are trying to step away from the shackles of colonial laws and policing practices.

This publication was written and edited by: Yanis Bekhelladi, Joelle Besch, Michaela Drucker, Rafael Miranda, Siona Sharma and Michael Weaver at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) with additional support from Anneke Meerkotter at SALC, and Beverly Mumbo and Maureen Awuor at Women’s Link Worldwide. Danilo da Silva and Yanis Bekhelladi proofread the Portuguese and French translations of the publication. Photos in the publication were sourced from Shutterstock.

We welcome any corrections to the online version of the publication. Judiciaries, law societies and law schools are also welcome to order additional copies of the compendium.

Human Rights Case Law Compendium