Realising the Right to Health in Nigeria: Incongruities between International Obligations and Domestic Implementation

Authors Andra le Roux-Kemp

ISSN: 2521-2613
Affiliations: Part-time lecturer, Stellenbosch University and Ema2sa Scholar, Freie Universität Berlin
Source: Africa Nazarene University Law Journal, 2014, Issue 1, p. 119 – 138


This article critically examines the role and responsibility of the judiciary in the realisation and concretisation of health rights in Nigeria. The gulf between the formal recognition of the right to health in international instruments — such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights — and the Nigerian Constitution, and the enforceability thereof, will shape the thrust of the discourse. It is argued that the judiciary in Nigeria is not engaging meaningfully with the true substantive content of health rights, and adequate notice and guidance is not taken from the provisions of international human rights instruments — like the ICESCR and the ACHPR. This is regrettable as courts can be valuable arenas and catalysts for the realisation and enforcement of health rights in the concrete contexts of specific cases.