Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts
54 court decisions from 2008-2016   Online edition with updates.     Flyer with Table of Contents.     Entire book, 228-pages 
Print copies available, e.g.  for courses, conferences or organizations -  See flyer for details.

Reproductive and sexual rights, which are guaranteed in constitutions and in international and regional human rights treaties, have no impact if they are not recognized and enforced by national-level courts. Legal Grounds: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts Volume III continues to provide much-needed information about whether and how national courts of African countries apply constitutional and human rights to protect reproductive and sexual rights. The case summaries, significance sections, and thematic highlights serve as useful resources for those seeking to further develop litigation, advocacy, and capacity building strategies.

Like its predecessors, Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts is a tool for organizations, individuals, and institutions of learning. The scope of this third volume has been widened beyond Commonwealth African countries to include cases from Francophone countries, while focusing more exclusively on court decisions related to reproductive and sexual health. Topics range from  Children and Adolescents, Maternal Health Care and Services, Abortion and Fetal Interests, Adoption and Surrogacy; Gender, Sexuality, Women and Discrimination, HIV.  For the first time in the Legal Grounds series, this volume features summaries of relevant decisions from Francophone Africa, concerning adultery, polygamy and infanticide.  A number of countries are developing the discipline in their tertiary institutions. For example in 2015, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, launched a Master’s Programme in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa. This compelling publication contributes towards a knowledge base of court decisions that bear directly or indirectly on the exercise of reproductive and sexual health as constitutional and human rights in Africa.

Published by Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) in 2017, and co-produced by the Center for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program,  this volume was written and edited by an array of African contributors:  Godfrey Kangaude, Onyema Afulukwe-Erichalu, Guy-Fleury Ntwari,   Victoria Balogun, Ebenezer Durojaye, Tinyade Kachika, MaryFrances Lukera,  Jacinta Nyachae, and Ronaldah Lerato Karobo Ozah.   For eleven of the case summaries, the editors received assistance from Prof. Charles Ngwena's LL.M./M.Phil students in 2015:  Rudo Chigudu, Yumba Kakhobwe,  Martha Nambuyaga,  Lelisa Nthabiseng, Phiwo Nyobo, Keikantse Phele, Dominic Rono, Mobby Rusere, Annegrace Rwehumbiza, Winnet Shamuyarira, and Phillipa Tucker.   All were candidates in Prof. Ngwena's  Master's degree programme in Sexual and Reproductive Rights at the Centre for Human Rights,  Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa.  Professors Bernard Dickens, Rebecca Cook and Charles Ngwena served in advisory roles throughout the project. 

PREVIOUS VOLUMES

 Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts, volume II included summaries and analyses of another 48 cases pertaining to reproductive and sexual rights, including gender-based violence, HIV discrimination, property and family law, abortion, and claims of fetal interests, to the year 2008.  It was also published by the Center for Reproductive Rights, and launched in 2010 as part of the Fourth Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts was published by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2005, when very few publications examined how national courts interpret and apply regional and international human rights laws — particularly when dealing with legal issues that affect women's rights. The original volume contained summaries and analyses of 59 cases, up to the year 2004.