Realisation of economic and social rights in Nigeria: the role of national and international cooperation

Oamen, Philip Ebosetale ORCID: 0000-0002-6684-1270 (2022). Realisation of economic and social rights in Nigeria: the role of national and international cooperation. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

[img] OAMEN2022PhD.pdf
Text - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2025.
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy


The central aim of Economic and Social Rights (ESR) is to address the essential needs of people. ESR are vital to ensure that people are protected from deprivation and poverty. Therefore, this thesis designs a cooperation model, both at the domestic and international levels, as a means for States to realise the ESR of their citizens. It locates and develops this model in the context of Nigeria. To do this, the thesis provides an understanding of the role of law and legal institutions in enhancing the practical realisation of ESR, through three major lines of inquiry. First, the thesis investigates the debate in Nigeria on whether ESR are justiciable and takes a position that they are. Contrary to popular views, ESR are not absolutely non-justiciable in Nigeria. There is a plethora of domestic and international laws which provide a normative grounding for the justiciability of ESR in Nigeria. The thesis finds that, despite these existing normative frameworks around ESR, the rights are still far from being realised in Nigeria. One of the reasons for this is the Nigerian courts’ adoption of traditional adversarial method of adjudication and the failure by political branches to draw on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) normative architecture on international cooperation and assistance. Second, the thesis argues that the traditional models of adjudication of ESR that seek to command and control the government sometimes impede, rather than enhance ESR realisation. Thus, this thesis argues for a more cooperative institutional relationship between courts and political branches to tap into the strengths of each institution, to enhance ESR realisation. Such a cooperative judicial approach towards ESR cases would enhance the practical impact of the rights. This thesis argues that receiving the cooperation and collaboration of the political branches would make the enforcement of judicial decisions more forceful, as the branches would receive the decisions as an outcome of an institutional dialogue and collaboration, rather than as imposed decisions. Third, the thesis argues for an effective deployment of international cooperation and assistance to herald a de facto realisation of ESR. The realisation of ESR can be resource intensive and without international cooperation and assistance, the realisation will always be outside the reach of Nigeria. This thesis explores the role of a legal duty of cooperation, within the international human rights law regime, between developed and developing countries to protect ESR in Nigeria. Therefore, the thesis argues for a better commitment, on the part of developed countries and international institutions such as the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), to international cooperation. This commitment to cooperation should not come in the form of some charity, but as a legally binding obligation on developed countries in favour of developing countries. Drawing on several normative instruments such as the ICESCR, the thesis adopts a Third World Approach to International Law (TWAIL) to argue that, under the international human rights law regime, the developed countries have a duty to help the developing countries in meeting the ESR needs of the developing countries’ citizens, in terms of provision of economic, financial, and technical cooperation and assistance as well as deployment of influence in international institutions’ decision-making processes.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Birmingham Law School
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Tertiary Education Trust Fund
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year