Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Announcement: Second Issue of the Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law

–Tom Kabau, Co-Editor in Chief, Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law; Senior Lecturer in Law, School of Law, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

We are pleased to highlight in this forum the second issue of the Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law (AJCCL) (volume 2, 2017). The AJCCL is published by JUTA Law of South Africa and is hosted by the Kenya School of Law in Nairobi. Supported by a distinguished International Advisory Board, the AJCCL provides expert analysis of and commentary on constitutional issues relevant to Africa and the developing world. The contents of this second issue include:

  • Berihun Adugna Gebeye, ‘The potential role of directive principles of state policies for transformative constitutionalism in Africa’;
  • Conrad M Bosire, ‘Interpreting the power of the Kenyan Senate to oversee national revenue allocated to the county governments: Building a constitutionally tenable approach’;
  • Michael Nyongesa Wabwile, ‘Human rights and family policy issues under Kenya’s Marriage Act of 2014’;
  • Muriuki Muriungi, ‘Procedural technicalities in the resolution of election disputes by the Supreme Court of Kenya’;
  • Gabriel O Arishe, ‘Proscription of floor crossing in Nigeria: The limits of the Constitution and the Supreme Court’;
  • Ndivhuwo Ishmel Moleya, ‘The right of access to information in the Kenyan Constitution: An indirect denial of other fundamental rights to non-citizens?’
  • Brian Sang YK,Jean Thomas, Public Rights, Private Relations (Oxford University Press, 2015)’ (book review).

In the first article, Berihun Gebeye evaluates the role of African Constitutions in facilitating societal transformation, and in particular, transformative constitutionalism. In that context, he draws lessons from comparative constitutional law and evaluates select constitutions in Africa in his argument that directive principles of state policies are essential in the implementation and realisation of progressive constitutional and governance objectives and, therefore, significantly facilitate transformative constitutionalism. Conrad Bosire, in the second article, examines the implications of the continuing uncertainty in the interpretation of the constitutional power of the Kenyan Senate to exercise oversight over the national revenue allocated to county governments. Relying on constitutional interpretation tools espoused under the Constitution, and through an evaluation of comparable literature and practices, the article proposes an ideal interpretative approach that can be utilised to provide an appropriate clarification of the scope and extent of the power of the Senate to oversee national revenue allocated to county governments.

The third article by Michael Wabwile evaluates the ramifications of Kenya’s Marriage Act of 2014, and subsequent case law, on the enjoyment of various civil liberties and human rights that are incidental to the institution of marriage. The article comprehensively illustrates the complexity of rights claims in marriage law in a pluralist Kenyan society. In the fourth article, Muriuki Muriungi addresses the question of whether the insistence of the Supreme Court of Kenya on legal and procedural technicalities through a rigid and strict construction of election laws has obscured the weightier question of serving substantive justice.

In the fifth article, Gabriel Arishe assesses the provision of the Nigerian Constitution which bans a legislator from changing party affiliation during a legislative term except upon the occurrence of party merger or a division in the party. He observes that the constitutional clause proscribing floor crossing has not consolidated the party system in Nigeria, just as it has not been able to do so in other African democracies. In that context, he proposes that there is need for a paradigm shift from a sanction-inclined approach to stemming party change by legislators in Nigeria, to a democratic-maturation approach that would eventually render such changes unpopular. In the final article, Ndivhuwo Moleya evaluates the reasonableness and justifiability of the right of access to information as conceptualised under the Constitution of Kenya. He credibly argues that the provision is couched in a manner that inhibits the enforcement of other fundamental rights that the Constitution confers to non-citizens. Brian Sang also contributes to the debate on the accountability of non-state actors for breaches of public law-oriented human rights through a book review. He undertakes an informative and comprehensive critique of Jean Thomas’ book, Public Rights, Private Relations, and concludes by observing that the publication is a valuable resource to those seeking to understand both why constitutional rights guarantees apply in the context of private relations, and how they may be leveraged to protect some of the most disadvantaged peoples from some of the most powerful.

Information on the second issue and order form is available here. Individual articles can also be purchases here. In addition, information on the submission of articles and reviews (books and cases) is available here.

Suggested Citation: Tom Kabau, Announcement: Second Issue of the Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, Sept. 21, 2018, at:


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