Laser Scanning for an Integrated BIM: It is a game changer.


(Image is front cover of the very informative book – John Eynon, ‘Construction Manager’s BIM Handbook‘ (John Wiley & Sons, 2016)


(Note: Hitech iSolutions a company in Ahmadabad, on its own contacted and asked me to send a trial article, which I did. Strangely, the company did not respond even after 15 days and 3 gentle reminders. To hire or not to hire is certainly at their discretion. But, having put about 6 hours of work in writing this article, I think I do deserve a rejection slip at the least. Surprising, that even though HR practitioners scream about treating candidates right, some companies don’t seem to believe in good HR practices. Hence, I feel free to publish the article here.)

Laser Scanning for an Integrated BIM offers exceptional advantages. Admittedly, ‘exceptional’ is not a common adjective in the precision driven construction engineering world. But, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) integrated with laser scanning is making so significant a difference to built environment, in terms of quality, durability, aesthetics and the overall sense of attainment, that it deserves to be called ‘exceptional.’ It is interesting to see how the innovative method works.

The Problem:

Designing and execution of construction projects has been a time and labor intensive exercise; with the technical and support staff working through piecemeal phases. Onsite and offsite teams tended to work independently and integrate their work only at late stages. Though designing progressed from manual or 2D formats generated by independent programs to CAD, the outcome does not meet the requirements of complex and large projects. Apart from duplication and wastage of effort work, a sense of uncertainty prevailed stymying cost and time estimates. Studies show that errors may escalate total cost by in nearly 5% in rework and defects may increase cost of construction of new residential complexes by about 4%.[1]

Hitech iSolutions offers Laser Scanning for an Integrated BIM capability that can minimize all these pain points.

The solution Laser scanning for BIM:

BIM technique has been in use since a few years. Development in technology and integration with Laser scanning have transformed BIM into a more powerful and preferred tool for construction of all types including residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure. A brief description of laser scanning for BIM is this. A mega data collection referred to as “Point cloud data” comprising 3 D X, Y, and Z coordinates of every scan point with respect to the scanner is generated using 3D laser scanner. Point cloud data may consist of millions of data representing the scanned physical environment. In the next post processing stage (also known as registration stage), data from multiple scans captured from the scanners is stitched together. Finally, object models are authored using BIM software.[2]

The advantages of Laser scanning integrated with BIM as said at the beginning are highly attractive.

  • Wide range of application in any type of construction e.g. reduce mismatch between shear pockets on pre-cast deck slabs and shear connectors on pre-cast girders while constructing bridges to retrofit existing heritage buildings.
  • Reduce cost of reworks and defects,
  • Minimize wastage of material and manpower,
  • Accelerate construction and save on interest costs, eliminate penalties,
  • And most importantly, improve user experience.

Hitech iSolutions has proven expertise in providing BIM solutions. The team enjoys collective knowledge and experience of over 700 experts working from offices in India, the USA and Scandinavia. An impressive track record is dotted with 5,000+ clients. We make a significant difference to construction.

[1] Min-Koo Kim, ‘Automated dimensional quality assurance of full-scale precast concrete elements using laser scanning and BIM’ (2016) Automation in Construction

[2] Duane Gleason, ‘Laser Scanning for an Integrated BIM’ <> (2013)



How will Brexit affect human rights in the United Kingdom?

Restated Question:

“…withdrawing from the European Union (‘Brexit’) will have a significant impact on the legal framework that protects human rights in the United Kingdom.” Critically examine this view with reference to the domestic and international law on human rights.

Identifying the question and writing a plan

The question examines the impact Brexit would have on human rights in the UK. Specific issues that be examined will include: the level of protection to equality to people in the UK; would the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) yield to a British Bill of Rights (BBR); and if it does, would the BBR be as robust as the HRA 1998; and how the human rights law at the international, European and domestic level would interact with each other. The question would also explore the human rights that would be available to the nationals of the EU countries currently residing in the UK particularly in terms of equality at the workplace.

Legal areas covered by the question:

The question involves analysing how deeply is the framework of human rights is embedded into the legal system of the UK. Accordingly, this study examines the present human rights regime comprising of HRA 1998, anti-discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and their relationship with international conventions mainly the European Convention on Human Rights  (ECHR,)[1] as also with International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[2]; and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)[3].

The essay is planned as follows:

  • Introduction of the framework of human rights before and after the incorporation of the ECHR into the UK domestic law.
  • Examine the implications of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 (Withdrawal Bill 2017-19)
  • Review UK case law to ascertain the effect of judicial interpretation of the human rights law in protecting the human rights.
  • Lastly and most importantly this essay will review whether there is an innate “respect for human rights”[4] in the UK so that Brexit or any other development would weaken the regime.

Objectives of the essay

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the statutory and common law human rights regime in the UK.
  • Study the effect of dissociation from the EU law would have on the UK.
  • Ascertain whether the UK would have same or higher level human rights even without the oversight of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
  • Draw conclusions and make recommendations for a sensible human rights law.

Summary of research

The focus of this essay is the effect of Brexit on the UK human rights law that requires an understanding HRA 1998, EQ 2010 and their relationship with the ECHR and to a minor extent, the equation with the international treaties. Towards this purpose, the study relies upon primary sources comprising the legislation and case law as well as secondary sources including journals and books. Since the topic is nascent, it is essential to access information from newspapers as also the online resources e.g. Parliament website and Practical Law blog.

Blackstone’s Guide to the Human Rights Act 1998 (2015) provided introduction to the significant principles of the human rights law in the UK in the pre and post HRA 1998 regime. The footnotes proved to be valuable pointers to further study. A particular piece of guidance relates to Lord Bingham’s assertion that interpreting and applying law by the courts is the “cardinal feature of the democratic state” is the keystone of human rights law. Other resources are as follows.

Foster (2011) in the chapter 3, provided an in depth perspective to the evolution of HRA 1998. The case studies e.g. Steel and Morris v UK[5] and A v Secretary of State[6] helped to understand the relationship between the ECHR and the HRA 1998, particularly when derogating from the EU law. Westlaw and HeinOnline yielded bulk of the reference material to the search string “Human rights law and Brexit” and its variants. The sources will be discussed as the essay progresses.


The European Union is characterised as a supranational political system of multilevel governance (Kaiser, Leucht and Rasmussen 2008.)[7] Disassociating from so a complex network is certain to be an intricate and protracted exercise. Popularly called, Brexit, the withdrawal has repercussions touching all most every facet of life, one of which is the crucial bond with the EU framework for protection of human rights.

The scenario of human rights regime after completion of the Brexit as summarised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (2016-17) would be this.UK need not comply with the human rights obligations laid down by the EU Treaties, EU directives and regulations. The Charter of Fundamental Rights would lose force and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) may no more exercise jurisdiction over the UK.

The question whether the Executive can withdraw from the EU without a legislative sanction from the parliament was answered in the affirmative by the Supreme Court in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. The Court agreed that the Ministers cannot enter into Treaties that alter domestic law without parliamentary sanction. However, since, the EU law was given effect in the UK domestic law by virtue of the s.2(1) of the European Communities Act 1972 on the inherent condition that the EU treaties are applicable to the UK, it follows that the EU law will be applicable only as long as the UK is a member of the EU. As such, once the UK withdraws from the EU, the EU law would stop affecting the UK domestic law without need for legislation.

In the event, the UK government has introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19[8] to streamline the human rights law after Brexit and to ensure that the law continues to comply with the international obligations namely the ICCPR and ICESCR[9].

Human rights in the UK before HRA 1998

In the pre HRA 1998 regime, two main principles were applied by the courts under common law. Under the doctrine of anxious scrutiny, the courts require higher level of justification in matters where the human rights were interfered with to a greater degree.[10] Anxious scrutiny is called for when an administrative decision jeopardises as fundamental right as right to life. [11]

The ‘illegality’ of a decision or rule affecting fundamental rights is understood in terms of vires. Fordham commenting on Ex P Anderson[12] points out that if an enabling infringes fundamental rights, the courts will be quicker to find the resulting decision or rule to be ultra vires.[13]

The second doctrine is principle of legality, which in Lady Hale’s words requires limitation on fundamental rights to be explicitly legislated by the Parliament.[14] Legality principle by creating a political control, however tangential, over legislation serves as an automatic protection of human rights. Applying this principle, the court held that “very general words the United Nations Act 1946 ” would not allow interference of right to property, access to courts, liberty and autonomy through financial control by the state.[15]

The discussion establishes that common law actively protected core human rights before the HRA 1998.

Human rights in the UK after the HRA 1998

A piece of statistics from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for the period 1959 to 2016 is interesting. ECtHR declared nearly 91% of the applications as inadmissible or struck them out. Out of the 526 applications admitted, the UK was found to have violated ECHR in 305 or 58% of the instances.[16] While the violations are disturbingly large, majority of them occurred before 2006, after which the administration has improved compliance with the ECHR.

The UK courts have been vocal in emphasising that it is the domestic law and common law that should be the starting point for protecting human rights. This is what Lady Hale was highlighting when she said that domestic law is the first option to resolve a dispute; after that, the ECHR may be checked to see if the common law needs to be refined further.[17] The

Repeated comparison between the ECHR and the domestic law became more pronounced in the recent years. This was to counter the tendency that was veering to defer to the CJEU decisions robotically. It was not one-upmanship, but a well thought out requirement to ensure that there is application of mind and consideration of domestic conditions. The common law does not confer prescriptive rights but it should not become an ‘ossuary’ or stunted by the Convention. Common law should continue to be a rich source of fundamental rights and values and vigorously support core rights.[18]

This study sees that the Supreme Court had a larger purpose in mind and is reinforcing the judiciary’s obligation to protect human rights. Before or after the HRA 1998, the availability of human rights has been at almost same level except for developments in keeping with terrorism and similar situations.


Whether the Brexit would weaken the UK’s human rights framework is rather a strange question. The Magna Carta, though not a charter of rights in the strict sense planted the concept of freedom from arbitrary government which has taken root to flourish to this day.[19] The model evolved gradually into several laws which are the predecessors of the modern day rights. These rights predate the HRA 1998. For example, the right to fair trial through the Habeas Corpus Act 1679, protection against torture through the English Bill of Rights 1689 and an anti-discrimination right through the Race Relations Act 1975.[20]

The English courts have a time honoured tradition of protecting human rights; in 1772 itself, characterising slavery as ‘odious,’ the court ruled that it cannot be allowed or approved.[21] It is difficult to conceive that a regime so deeply implanted in the system would be diluted easily. There were of course aberrations, for instance the Roberts v Hopwood[22] where the court delivered a technically perfect decision but along with a prickly observation that the Council was misguided “by a feminist ambition to secure the equality of the sexes in the matter of wages in the world of labour.” Admittedly, as said the reasoning behind the decision is sound but the jarring tone would upset the present day principle of equality. However, such mind set is but infrequently encountered. Further, as Toulson LJ observed the common law did not stop developing once the HRA 1998 was passed and “it is in vigorous health and flourishing in many parts of the world.”[23]


An insight into the UK judicial thinking can be gained from the cases cited with approval during a detailed discussion in R (Osborn) v Parole Board.[24] Human rights protection does not begin or end with the Strasbourg case law; it is based on relevant rules of domestic law and “permeates our legal system.”[25] Evidence obtained by torture was disallowed based on common law’s 500 year’s old abhorrence of the practice.[26] In a case where the ECHR and common law would reach the same conclusion, it is imperative to recognise common law as the “sufficient source of the fundamental right.” Certain fundamental rights are inherent and central to a democratic civilised society. Conventions or bills of rights merely articulate them than creating them.[27]

The same principle was echoed in R (Faulkner) v Secretary.[28] The UK courts apply common law and where necessary develop it in an effort to achieve “a result which is in compliance with the UK’s international obligations.” The reliance is however upon domestic legal principles than the international case law. Hence, it can be concluded that the English judicial system would continue to play its rightful role in protecting human rights on its own with or without the CJEU watch.

Finally, it is the will of the people reflected by the Parliament that shapes the human rights framework. Further, Article 3 of the Withdrawal Bill 2017-19[29] is ensuring that direct EU legislation meaning EU regulation, EU decision or EU tertiary legislation in force on before the exit day will become domestic law from the exit day. This holds the assurance that the gains from HRA 1998 will remain.

Therefore, Brexit will not adversely affect the human rights of the United Kingdom citizens. The implications for the nationals of other jurisdictions will depend upon political equations as they develop in future.

End notes

[1] Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights, as amended) (ECHR)

[2] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 23 March 1976) 999 UNTS 171 (ICCPR)

[3] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 3 January 1976) UNTS 993(3). (ICESCR)

[4] UN News Centre, ‘Annan inaugurates UN’s strengthened Human Rights Council with appeal for ‘new era’ ‘<> accessed 15 December 2017

[5] Steel and Morris v UK (2005) 41 EHRR 403 (Application no. 68416/01)

[6] A v Secretary of State [2005] 2 AC 68

[7] Wolfram Kaiser, Brigitte Leucht and Morten Rasmussen, The History of the European Union: Origins of a Trans- and Supranational Polity 1950-72 (Routledge 2008), at page 1

[8] The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 is scheduled to enter the ‘remaining stages’ in Committee of the whole House on 16 January 2018

[9] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 23 March 1976) 999 UNTS 171 (ICCPR); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 3 January 1976) UNTS 993(3). (ICESCR)

[10]Michael Polak, ‘Interpretation of Legislation under the Human Rights Act’ ( <> accessed 28 December 2017

[11] R v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex Parte Bugdaycay [1987] AC 514

[12] R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte Anderson [1984] QB 778

[13] Michael Fordham ‘What is “Anxious Scrutiny”?’ (1996) 1(2) Judicial Review 81

[14] Lady Hale, ‘UK Constitutionalism on the March?’ keynote address to the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association Conference 2014 (, 12 July 2014) <> accessed 22 December 2017

[15] HM Treasury v Ahmed [2010] UKSC 2 [2010] 2 AC 534

[16] Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Responding to Human Rights Judgments’ Report to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Government’s response to Human Rights judgments 2016–17 (Cm 9535, 2017)

[17] Lady Hale, ‘UK Constitutionalism on the March?’ keynote address to the Constitutional andAdministrative Law Bar Association Conference 2014 (, 12 July 2014)<> accessed 22 December 2017

[18] Kennedy v The Charity Commission 2014] UKSC 20

[19] Dick Howard, Magna Carta: Text and Commentary (vol. 1, University of Virginia Press 1964)

[20] ‘A history of human rights in Britain’ (, 18 November 2017) available at<> accessed 28 December 2017

[21] Somerset v Stewart (1772) 98 ER 499

[22] Roberts v Hopwood [1925] AC 578

[23] R (Guardian News and Media Ltd) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court (Article 19 intervening) [2012] EWCA Civ 420

[24] R (Osborn) v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61

[25] Press Summary in R (Osborn) v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61 ( 9 October 2013) available at<> accessed 29 December 2017

[26] A v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) [2005] UKHL 71

[27] R (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2001] UKHL 26

[28] R (Faulkner) v Secretary of State for Justice [2013] UKSC 23

[29] The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19


ಕಾಕಿಯ ವಿಗ್ರಹಕ್ಕೆ ಪಕ್ಷ ಮಾಸದ ವಡೆ – ಪಾಯಸ ಸಮರ್ಪಿಸ ಬಹುದೇ, ಅದು ಕಬ್ಬಿಣ ವಿಗ್ರಹವೇ ಆಗಬೇಕೇ ಯಂಬ ಸಂಶಯಗಳಿಗೆ  ಆಧಾರವಿಲ್ಲ. 

ನಗರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಕಾರ್ಯಗಳನ್ನ ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸುವುದು ಕಷ್ಟವಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಕಲಿಯುಗ ದಲ್ಲಿ ಅನ್ಯೋಪಾಯಗಳನ್ನು ಅಳವಡಿಸುಕೊಳ್ಳುವದು ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯವಾಗಿದೆ. ಪಿತೃ ದೇವತಗಳಿಗೆ ನೈವೈದ್ಯ ಕಾಗೆ ಮೂಲಕ ಸಮರ್ಪಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಆದರೆ, ನಗರಗಳ್ಲಿ ಕಾಗೆಗಳು ಕಾಣುವದು ವಿರಳವಾಗಿದೆ. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಲೋಹ ವಾಯಸ ಮೂರ್ತಿ ರೂಪೇಣ ನಮ್ಮ ಪಿತೃ ಋಣ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸುವುದು ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ  ಸಮ್ಮತವಾಗಿದೆ.
ಹೇಗಂದರೆ, ತ್ರೇತಾಯುಗದಲ್ಲಿ, ರಾಮ ಬಾಣ ಪೀಡಿತನಾದ ಜಯಂತನ ಅನುಭವದಿಂದ, ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಾಗೆಗಳೂ ಚಿತ್ರಕೂಟವನ್ನ ತೊರೆದವು. ಅಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ, ಪಕ್ಷ ಮಾಸವು ಒದಿಗಿತು. ತಮ್ಮ  ತಂದೆಯ ಪಕ್ಷ ಮಾಸದ ಶ್ರಾದ್ಧ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಗೊಳಿಸುವದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ರಾಮ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಣರು   ಚಿಂತಿತರಾದರು. ಧೀಮಂತನಾದ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಣನು ಭಂಗಾರದ ಕಾಗೆ ಮೂರ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ನಿರ್ಮಿಸಲುದ್ಯುಕ್ತನಾದನು.
ಆತನನ್ನು ತಡೆಯುತ್ತ ಮಹಾತ್ಮನಾದ ರಾಮನು, “ಎಲೈ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಣನೇ, ವನವಾಸ ದೀಕ್ಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ನಮಗೆ ಸುವರ್ಣವು ಸೂಕ್ತವಲ್ಲ. ಕಬ್ಬಿಣವೇ ನಮಗೆ  ಶೋಭಿಸುವುದು” ಎಂದನು.  ಆಗ ರಾಮನ ಮುಗುಳ್ನಗೆ ಚಂದ್ರ ಕಿರಣದಂತೆ ಪ್ರಕಾಶಿಸುತು. ಆ ಕಿರಣಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮಿಂದು ಪುನೀತನಾದ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಣನು, “ಸ್ವಾಮೀ, ನಿನ್ನ ಮಹಿಮೆಯನ್ನರಯುಲು ಯಾರಿಂದ ಸಾಧ್ಯ? ಮಾನವರಿಗೆ ಸದಾಚಾರ ಉಪದೇಶಿಸಲೆಂದೇ ಅವತಾರ ತಾಳಿದ ಜಿಷ್ಣುವೇ  ನೀನು” ಎಂದು ಕೀರ್ತಿಸಿ, ಕಬ್ಬಿಣದಿಂದ ಕಾಗೆ ಮೂರ್ತಿ ನಿರ್ಮಿಸದನು. ಸೀತೆ ಕರೆದ ವಡೆಗಳನ್ನು, ಬೇಯಿಸಿದ ಪಾಯಸವನ್ನು ಆ ಲೋಹ ವಾಯಸಕ್ಕೆ ಅರ್ಪಿಸಿ ರಾಮ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಣರು ಧನ್ಯರಾದರು.
ರಾಮನೇ ಪ್ರಮಾಣ ಎಂಬ ವಾಕ್ಯ ದಂತೆ, ನಗರ ನಿವಾಸಿಗಳು ಜೀವಂತ ಕಾಗೆಗಳು ಲಭ್ಯವಾಗದಿದ್ದಲ್ಲಿ, ಲೋಹದ ಕಾಗೆ ಮೂರ್ತಿಗೆ ವಡೆ, ಪಾಯಸ ಸಮರ್ಪಿಸಬಹುದೆಂದು ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತೀಕರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.
ಈಗ, ಕಬ್ಬಿಣದ ಕಾಗೆಯೇ ಆಗಬೇಕೇ  ಯಂಬ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಉಳಿಯುವುದು.  “ಕಲೌ ಸಾಧೂನಾಮ್ ಆಭರಣಾಮ್ ಚ ಕೀರೀಟಾನ್ ಶೋಭಯಂತಿ” ಯಂಬ ನ್ಯಾಯದಂತೆ,  ಕಲಿಯುಗದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೌಲ್ಯ ಗಳು ಏರುಪೇರಾಗುವದು ಕಾಲ ನಿರ್ಣಯ. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ, ಅನುಕೂಲಸ್ಥ ಗೃಹಸ್ಥರು ಶಕ್ತ್ಯಾನುಸಾರ ಭಂಗಾರದಿಂದ, ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗದಿದ್ದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳ್ಳಿಯಿಂದ ನಿರ್ಮಿಸಿದ ಕಾಗೆ ಮೂರ್ತಿಗೆ ಭಕ್ಷ್ಯ ಸಮರ್ಪಿಸಬಹುದೆಂದು ಗುರುಗಳು ನಿರ್ಧಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರು ರಾಮನೇ ಗತಿಎಂದು ಕಬ್ಬಿಣ ಕಾಗೆ ಬಳಿಸ   ಬಹದು.
ವಿ.ಸೊ : ಅಖಿಲ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಪುರೋಹಿತ ಸಂಘದ ನಿರ್ಣಯದಂತೆ, ಭಂಗಾರದ ಕಾಗೆಗೆ ರು. ೧೦೦/-, ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಕಾಗೆಗೆ ರು. ೭೫, ಹಾಗು ಕಬ್ಬಿಣ ವಿಗ್ರಹಕ್ಕೆ ರು. ೫೦/- ದಕ್ಷಿಣೆ ಇರುವುದು. ಜಿ. ಎಸ್ಟಿ ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕ. ಕಡಿಮೆ ದಕ್ಷಿಣೆ ಕೊಡ ಬಯುಸುವ ಗೃಹಸ್ಥರಿಗೆ ಪುಣ್ಯ ದಕ್ಕುವದಿಲ್ಲ.
(Humour piece- take it lightly or with a pinch of salt.)

VeenaSoft Ecommerce applications are smart online business tools.

(This is a trial article I had provided to a client)


Elegantly appealing, smartly responsive, technically advanced yet fluid, VeenaSoft   Ecommerce applications work to push your online sales.  The reason is simple. We closely customize the online store to enhance customer experience, an assured way to increase online business. Here are 10 distinctive features we build into every Ecommerce application.

Responsive ecommerce Websites:

Smart phone or tablet, PC or laptop, let the customer come from any devise, VeenaSoft   built ecommerce websites fill the screen fluidly. The customers enjoy comfort of easy navigation and a clear view. You avoid having separate native apps and save money in terms of development and maintenance costs.

Responsive Mobile Site:

Will your customers be happier if they can view clearly, whether they are holding the mobile horizontally or vertically? You can be sure that users like handy sites where images and text auto-adjust their appearance, navigation menu merges into a button and all this happens seamlessly. Providing that convenience is what we call as smart online business tools.

Payment integration and seamless checkout

The point at which the visitor turns into a customer is the crucial moment. It hinges upon ease of payment facility. Our E commerce Development Service professionals design Payment integration and Seamless checkout options for quick and ease of use. You will be able to offer multiple payment modes and receive payments through debit/ credit cards, PayPal, Qpay, Skrill, online transfer and other options of your choice.

Self-manageable ecommerce platform

The ecommerce applications we build are highly advanced both technologically and technically. And yet, they are easy to manage and maintain. You get full control over hosting, editing content and imagery and integrating of audio-visual media. To say it differently, the self-manageable platform brings you freedom, flexibility, security and savings.

Sales Management

Automate your sales management for accuracy and better administration. VeenaSoft   ecommerce applications help you to organize Orders, Invoices, Shipments, Transactions and Terms and Conditions through a few clicks.

Catalogue Management

Handle thousands of Products without effort. Our application assists you in updating products continuously and expanding categories anytime. Superior merchandising features help you establish a better connect with the customers through product information. You will have flexibility to sell across multiple channels and manage inventories and categories simultaneously. Catalogue management can be achieved without too advanced technical capability.

Promotions management and Newsletters

Acquire new customers and retain them through regular newsletters. Our developers provide in-built Promotions Management and Newsletters circulation features.


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National Reconciliation in Angola

(Note: This is an extract from an academic dissertation. If you need assistance with writing essays. dissertations and similar coursework in Law, Management or computer science engineering, I will be glad to help out.)


Serra da Leba, Angola (Pic courtesy Wikipedia)


From legally sanctioned slavery until abolition in 1836[1] to constitutionally guaranteed human rights[2] in 2010 when the latest constitution came into force, Angola is experiencing a significant transformation.

Conflict has ended[3] in 2002 and Angola is in a state of reconciliation where “enemies are becoming friends[4]“. Reconciliation typically is a peacemaking process between one-time enemies who move to recognise the causes and injuries suffered. The antagonistic groups then show mutual conciliatory accommodation to establish a “relatively cooperative and amicable relationship[5].”

A scrutiny of Angola’s context makes it evident that certain causes and their effects mutually fuelled each other over centuries. A singular lack of respect for human dignity and life led sequentially to division of the society on ethnic lines, centuries of foreign rule and decades of civil war. These in turn severely infringed human rights resulting in a strife-ridden and divided society.

This study shows that the logical solution for achieving National Reconciliation and a prosperous Angola, a robust and inviolable human rights regime is essential.


Angolan narrative puts out three propositions. Firstly, a strong human rights framework conditions the state to act in such a manner that is conducive to peace. Secondly, the framework must temper the non-state actors (and foreign states) as much as it guides the state. Thirdly, rights are rarely conferred; it is for the society to secure the human rights for itself.

Since, the last proposition may appear rather unscholarly and is likely to be misconstrued as aggressive, it is clarified that absolutely no belligerence is advocated. For, peace can be achieved through peaceful means. As Freeman[6] observes, India’s Gandhi formulated a unique pattern for “effectuating change within the law when law’s normal procedures were inadequate or held captive by anti-legal forces” and could bring about the “necessary change in a democratic, consensual, non-violent way.” Subsequent discussion will show that reconciliation is possible only through a strong democracy.

Returning to the discussion, it is admitted that the first proposition is not a novel one. History, particularly Angola’s history, scholars, jurists and case law have repeatedly proven that societies with a vigorous human rights regime enjoy peace and economic development[7].

The second proposition is situated in the relationship between human rights and non-state actors. Commenting on the 1991-2002 conflict in Angola, Comerford[8] says that “the ‘tribal differences’ could be exploited by others unless the seeds of discord” were identified and cured.” This is exactly what happened between 17th and 19th century.[9]

Angola’s history of breach of human rights, though the concept had not evolved fully and was not known by that name, begins with slavery. Ethnic and linguistically divided people fought frequent battles with each other and enslaved the losers. The modern concept of ‘nation’ was absent and consequently there was no ‘national law’ to prohibit slavery. It is widely accepted that there was a sizeable indigenous slave population in Africa before the Europeans arrived[10].

With the arrival of Europeans, Portugal in the case of Angola, the trans-Atlantic demand for slaves flourished swiftly. Apart from Portuguese colonial officials, the lineage heads, African rulers and Luso-African merchants were the principal actors in slave trade[11]. The demand incentivised the local populations to further systemise capture and trade their fellow beings into slavery.

Suppose, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 was in existence, the crime by the Angolans and the Portuguese would be in breach of Article 3 and 4 which hold that every individual has the right to life and liberty and that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude…”  Suppose, the Angolan constitution was operative in those days, the state (the lineage heads and the foreign colonial forces being representative of the ‘state’) would be in breach of Article 21which directs that individuals will not be discriminated on account of race, sex, origins, colour and other protected characteristics. In fact the entire Section I of chapter II of the constitution including Articles 30, 31, 36 which require the state to protect right to life, human person and human dignity, physical freedom and individual security[12] would have been infringed.

The violations support the point already made that the causes and effects mutually fuelled each other. If the democratic framework was strong, it could perhaps have prevented the ‘state’ from infringing the human right to individual liberty as above.

The status of human rights appears to be improving. While, opinions that choose to differ may argue that even today the availability of rights is more on paper than in reality, some of the recent Court decisions are promising. In the “15+2” in which the Supreme Court modified prison terms of Luaty Beirão and 16 of his companions to house arrest[13]. Journalist and author Rafael Marques de Morais was handed a suspended six-month jail sentence for “defaming army generals.[14]” Human rights activist José Marcos Mavungo was acquitted of ‘incitement to rebellion and violence’ after serving one year prison sentence [15].

House arrest, suspended jail term or acquittal after one year in jail may not be exactly satisfactory; but viewed against the ground realities, the three decisions are signs of some progress.

The second proposition expects foreign states and non-state actors (NSAs) to be included in the scope of human rights regime for a simple reason. NSAs can be risk multipliers or force multipliers for development.

According to UNICEF, wars are increasingly turning into low-intensity internal conflicts fought for longer time and in which civilians are deliberately targeted[16]. The inference is that NSAs engaged in internal conflicts infringe human rights as much as or more than the state and therefore must be considered in any scheme for national reconciliation. Grossman typifies rebellion as an industry that profits from looting and the insurgents as no different from “bandits and pirates.[17]” This raises a point as to who these NSAs are.

When identifying NSAs, it is easy to categorise armed groups as NSAs and the effects of their actions are easily perceived. There is another category of NSAs who play an equally significant role in disturbing or promoting peace and economy. These are organisations or individuals who do not identify or ally themselves with any country but wield enough economic, political and social power to influence national and occasionally international affairs[18]. Pearlman and Cunningham speak of only political actors with no direct nexus with the state but who pursue aims which affect a state’s vital interests[19]. A list of NSAs, to be holistic must include PMSCs, MNCs, NGOs, interest groups, faith-based organisations and other organised formations.

PMSCs, the new label for old-world mercenaries are a matter of serious concern. According to Ballesteros[20], UN Special Rapporteur, the mercenary “is present as a violator of human rights” whether as an individual or as an employee of multi-purpose security companies. Occasionally he may undertake terrorist operations, illicit trafficking or sabotage. The reason for hiring him is his lack of scruples “in riding roughshod over the norms of international humanitarian law or even in committing serious crimes and human rights violations.” Executive Outcomes, a South African mercenary “firm” is perhaps the one to attract substantial attention for its activities in Angola. One of the firm’s members is reported to have said on television that they killed 300 enemy soldiers on the way to North Angolan village of Cafuno[21].

MNCs are an important sub-category under NSAs. They do bring with them benefits in terms of capital, technology and jobs which are essential for economic progress, but some of them bring adverse effects also along with them. Manipulating the domestic politics and the state, manoeuvring to corner land, raw materials and other natural resources occur in many states. Agbakwa[22], points out how some of the MNCs seriously violate human rights in the third world countries with impunity. He emphasises that the “underlying issues, actors and beneficiaries” must be controlled for ensuring security and equality.

In Angola’s own instance, for some corporations, low-intensity war is more profitable than peace as it enables them to capture higher rents from diamonds and oil. These minority beneficiaries are powerful inflicting large losses on the majority[23]. Of course, it would be unfair and economically unwise to tar all the MNCs with the same brush. International commerce does contribute to progress and the proper approach would be to control the conduct of these Corporations. This point leads to the second main category of NSAs who hold a positive promise for human rights.

In the midst of fragile contexts that prevailed in Angola, it is natural that there is a multiplicity of institutions engaged in relief and welfare. This was not only inevitable but desirable since the local stressors were such that the state was too busy fighting a civil war, did not have a mechanism, inclination or sufficient resources to discharge its civic functions. More importantly, faith-organisations enjoyed a higher degree of trust and acceptance by the population compared to the state or international organisations.

Angola’s churches discharged two crucial functions. While providing relief to displaced population people in conflict zone was commendable, their active role as peacemakers is significant. The Catholic and Protestant bishops adopted a position that the war did not represent either the voice of the people or their interest. They jointly launched “Movimento pro pace” a Movement towards peace in 1999 aimed to create a “new mentality that values peace.” In 2000, all religious leaders convened Congress for Peace. The church as a political actor was a potent factor in persuading the warring MPLA and UNITA towards peace talks[24].

At micro-level, the churches undertook relief work in thier regions. Serrano[25] gives an example of the initiative by Evangelical congregational church in Angola (IECA) which undertook large scale social and relief work in Bunjei province.

Traditional authorities (TAs) are not merely yet another but an imperative actor in reconciliation vis-a-vis human rights discussion. Their importance prompts Ekeh[26] to call the system “two Publics[27]“. In the immediate aftermath of independence, the new postcolonial states in Sub Saharan Africa and the TAs had at best an ambiguous relationship[28]. TAs collaboration with colonial regimes in countering organised resistance and acting as local “agents” in extracting natural and human resources triggered ill feeling which was not always well concealed.

The TAs who had exercised their own peculiar influence over the village population even in the era of the colonial “state”, in fact gained additional sway in the interregnum when the new “national” state was struggling to find its feet. An elder administered the land rights vested in patrimony in the Kongo of northern Angola[29] and similarly sekulu the current elder held land rights in the Umbundu[30].

Ancient beliefs such as the mythical ancestor subsisted despite Christianity or by the state action. Customarily the population was used to depending on the TAs for inexpensive justice in land or family disputes. These factors combined with the nascent state’s inability to exhibit legitimacy ensure that the TAs continue to enjoy their sphere of influence.

The institution of the “elder” proffers both advantages and disadvantages. It is desirable on some counts compared to sole prerogative of the state. The TAs is a local person more attuned to the local needs, easier to access and can carry the public opinion with him than the “far off” state authority. The TAs are or at least can be a valuable asset in building reconciliation. On the negative side, they would be reluctant to let go their power, in other words monetary benefits, would tend to be hegemonistic and subjective. Their attitude may not be conducive to democratic conduct.

The discussion so far has touched briefly on how various stakeholders including civil society National and international organisations Church Traditional authorities contribute to the extreme complexity of the matrix in which the young Angola has to discover durable harmony. That takes this study forward to Chapter 1 in which the role of Nation-state in bringing all the stakeholders on board to complete the national reconciliation process and secure peace and inclusive development. The significance of educational programme of human rights, national unity, reconciliation and justice and the signs of change that are visible today will be presented.

Literature review:

Constraints on human rights hamper peace:

In addition to the “resource curse” caused by abundance of resources, Angola suffers from yet another type of affliction. This “resource curse” is caused by limited availability of information. The government is selectively reticent and opposition is habitually strident so much so that counterchecking to authenticate the available data is often difficult. Marques, Bustelo and Roemersma observe that the “Culture of secrecy,” practised by the state is the chief contributor to the situation. The media is perceived as adversaries than as partners in development and media workers lack knowledge of relevant laws and government policies.[31]

According to Schubert[32], public sphere in Angola “is prefigured by a climate of fear” and the citizens are afraid to speak out openly. Pearce observes that the ruling regime is exploiting the opportunity to systematically politicise memories and indulges in ‘memorialisation’. By endeavouring to redefine the public memory, the government is to positioning itself as the sole liberator from colonial rule.[33]

Faria[34] avers that there is dichotomy of “conformity or resistance” and “pseudo-public or counter-public” because the public is conditioned by past memory and survival struggle. The government is using to breakdown opposing voices into small groups which are “easier to threaten and to co-opt.” In fact, rule of law and political pluralism have become instruments to further control and manufacture endorsement.

The restrictions of freedom of speech and right to association appear to fuel the fear complex and created an environment in which the state is able to infringe other rights easily. Human Rights Watch[35] has catalogued instances of various forced mass evictions, violent removal of street traders, intimidating anti-government voices with surveillance, harassment, criminal defamation lawsuits, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials that occurred in 2014 and 2015. The government has passed Presidential Decree No. 74/15 in March 2015 placing undue restrictions on NGOs[36].

The role of the state and other actors in peace process:

The Angolan government’s actions discussed above are in clear infringement of human rights related to right to physical freedom and personal security, freedoms of expression, press, meeting and demonstrating and association guaranteed by Articles 36, 40, 44, 47, and 48 of the Angola’s Constitution of 2010. The condition automatically sets the agenda for the actors involved in the peace-building.

Galtung distinguishes peacebuilding from peacekeeping and peacemaking. The last two are mere negative aspects of peace, an absence of conflict. Peacebuilding on the other hand embodies the positive aspect of peace based on a “reservoir for the system itself to draw up…” its strength.[37] The logic behind Galtung’s concept of peacebuilding put forward by Chetail and Jütersonke is commendable for being holistic and in fact setting the agenda for all the actors. The authors see peacebuilding as securing social justice through equal opportunity; a fair distribution of resources and power; and the rule of law providing equal protection[38].

Role of the church

Providing care and welfare service during conflict times is what is normally expected from religious organizations. Going beyond the regular call of duty, the Angolan church exercised its extensive influence amongst the population to mentor and foster peace. Comerford[39] brings out the significance of the church’s initiative in peacebuilding. The strong public opinion created by the church was instrumental in compelling the warring parties to the negotiation table which eventually ended the civil war.

Role of the international actors

Prompted by their deep economic interests tied to oil and diamond sources in Angola, Russia and the USA radically contributed to and prolonged the Angola civil war. This inference comes out distinctly from Comerford’s detailed analysis of the history of Angolan conflict [40]. A brief summary of the role played by the international actors Russia intervened actively on behalf of the MPLA from the beginning and continues its support. The USA not wishing to jeopardise relationship with Portugal, a NATO ally was initially tentative but subsequently supported Holden Roberto in 1959, FNLA in 1974 and began actively arming the UNITA from 1985. Approximately 500,000 persons died, tens of thousands suffered mutilation by anti-personnel mines and more than a million people were displaced during the civil war according to US Department of Justice[41].

For a survey of human rights violations in Sub-Saharan Africa, see the report of José Doria in this publication.

Carola Eyber & Alastair Ager, Conselho: Psychological Healing in Displaced Communities in Angola, 360 LANCET 871 (2002).

Louise Mallinder, ‘Global Comparison of Amnesty Laws: The pursuit of international criminal justice: a world study on conflicts, victimization, and post-conflict justice’ (2009) in M. Cherif Bassiouni (ed) (Intersentia 2010) <> accessed 25 July 2016

That was the role enacted by the international community in the Angola’s past. That also defines their current responsibility to rebuild the nation, support the reconciliation process. Some of the duties proposed by various scholars are as follows.

The international community should adopt mutually accountability approach that holds the foreign actors accountable for their economic and political interests. The international community must persuade Angola to include human rights in the political agenda. Economic and social rights must form an inalienable part of the dialogue in addition to civic and political rights[42].

Role of education in peace process

Tinker[43] upholds views similar to Comerford. She maintains that the modern day peace education programmes are also founded “in religious heritage.” Though the programmes assert their secularity, their philosophical assumptions are seen to be directly and indirectly influenced by religious heritage.

The conceptualisation of teachers as “peacebuilders” is rooted in Galtung’s (1975) distinction between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

“Culture of secrecy” Rafael Marques, Bustelo MG and Roemersma R, (2003) ‘The media as a tool for civil society’ Unpublished report, Amsterdam: Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) (as cited in Cândido Mendes and Barnaby Smith, Angola Research findings and conclusions (BBC World Service Trust, 2006)

Tinker Peace Education as a Post-conflict Peacebuilding Tool (must be important for chapter on education for peace & church also

Chapter 1

  • The Role of the Recognised Participants in Effecting National Reconciliation and Peace-Building in Angola

The past must be stopped at a point, for reconciliation, by definition is remedying the past and former enemies becoming friends.[44] By corollary, the present and the future should move forward, fully secured against recurrence of previous errors. While all the actors involved in peace building have to discharge this twofold duty, the nation and the state bears the highest responsibility in bringing about positive change.

  • The role of the nation-state

The reason for assigning the primary role to the state in nurturing reconciliation is based on the four significant duties it has to fulfil. 1. Considering that reconciliation is intertwined with fundamental rights, state has to endeavour that all the persons within its territory enjoy the full benefit of fundamental rights. 2. Win over the national actors such as the civil society, NSAs, religious groups and traditional authorities. 3. Influence international community favourably and obtain its cooperation of the in all spheres; and 4. Develop bilateral and multilateral economic and cultural relationships with neighbouring states.

Peace and reconciliation transcend political boundaries and limitation of times. This aspect places certain interlinked obligations on both the nation and the state and leads to a rather quaint requirement. The responsibilities are joint sometimes and are independent at other times e.g. while both the nation and the state have to believe in and foster democratic traditions, the state has to administer the enforcement mechanisms to protect the democratic framework. In other words, the nation and the state have to chaperone each other to achieve enduring peace. For the sake of simplicity, except when it is necessary to distinguish between them, the roles of the state and the nation are discussed together.

The pivotal function fundamental rights in reconciliation:

Building peace in the aftermath of stubborn conflicts is not a sequential process and it is marked with inevitable ups and downs. Long-term commitment on part of the actors than “momentary conjectural optimism or opportunism” alone can achieve peace[45]. Different schools of thought have been putting forward different views on approaches to build peace. These range from ‘retributive and prosecutorial’ proponents to advocates of traditional justice who believe that a mature resolution of the differences and compensating the victims is more appropriate path to harmony.[46]

It is only recently that reconciliation has been recognised as a mechanism to resolve post-conflict reconstruction. While evidence is still being gathered and experience has been limited, the “transitional justice” process has proved itself commendably in South Africa and to a limited extent in instances such as Guatemala.[47] It is a disappointment in a few states including Uganda and Haiti where the post-conflict democracy did not take firm roots.[48]

South African success which in fact prompted global interest in the mechanism and other contracting scenarios such as Haiti, establish a close linkage between successful reconciliation and democratic culture. Bloomfield outlines democracy as “managing conflict arising out of differences in beliefs, ideology, culture, ethnicity without recourse to violence. Instead of eliminating the differences (obviously by compulsion) or excluding the population who have different beliefs from the society, democracy facilitates them to coexist without threatening the whole system[49]. Democracy is evidently interlinked with human rights and the rule of law[50] and as has been seen above, it is the primary building block of peace.

The Angolan experience regarding reconciliation has been at best a mixture of success and satisfaction. A brief review of the situation will assist in understanding the role that the state is playing in reconciliation and peace-building. However, one point has to be made: evaluating Angola is problematic because of lack of transparency. Even Supreme Court decisions are not placed in public domain and the government is studiously tight-lipped most of the time. On the other hand, persons who hold opposing views are highly vocal but it is difficult to cross verify their contentions and reports. Because of this, even favourable analysis or comment generally ends up with an escape clause.

The major challenge facing the state was that the state riddled inherited many flaws in 2002. Generations of dependency characterised the administrative mechanism and political framework, the system was militarised, centralised and corrupted and customised for “colonial purposes and thus ipso facto antidemocratic”.[51]

In spite of such a burden, Angola is striving in the right direction. In a signal development, Constitution 2010 has written a vigorous fundamental rights regime into the legislative mechanism[52]. The 2012 general elections were peaceful and the international community acknowledged them to be “free and fair.” If the status of women is considered for illustration, their representation is 30 per cent and 36 per cent in the judicial system and parliament respectively[53]. The Parliament enacted Domestic Violence Act 2010 which aims to protect women from ‘homemade’ violence is a much needed relief in a male dominated society. The budgetary cuts and inflation however have adversely affected quality of life particularly for women.[54] On education front, the number of children in primary education was tripled between 2002 and 2013 and the current literacy is about 79%.[55]

The real concerns however hover on the human rights. Public posturing by the government authorities is often aggressive. Ambassador Lima believes that the sole formula for peace is to overpower the warring parties who attack democracy with weapons and that African military conflicts cannot achieve peace through a “goalless match.[56]

Chronicling hundreds of cases of torture, killings, mutilation of women’s bodies in Cuango province, Morais observes:” “Cases are not…..a random series of unfortunate events in a context where everything else operates under the rule of law.” It was systematic and premeditated abuse of human rights.[57]

(To be continued)


[1] Linda Marinda Heywood, Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present (Boydell & Brewer 2000) 12

[2] Section I Chapter II Angola’s Constitution of 2010

[3] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ‘A GENDER PERSPECTIVE Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Angola?’ (2013) United Nations Publication UNCTAD/DITC/2013/3 <> accessed 22 July 2016

[4] Charles A. Kupchan, How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics, 2010)

[5] Louis Kriesberg, ‘Reconciliation: aspects, growth, and sequences’ (2007) 12(1) Intl J of Peace Studies 1

[6] Harrop A. Freeman, ‘The right of protest and civil disobedience’ (1966) 41(2) Indiana LJ <> accessed 23 July 2016

[7] Andy McKay and Polly Vizard, ‘Human Rights and Poverty Reduction Rights and economic growth: Inevitable conflict or ‘common ground’?’ (2005) ODI <> accessed 22 July 2016

[8] Michael Gerard Comerford, The Peaceful Face of Angola: Biography of a Peace Process (1991-2002) (M. Comerford 2005)

[9] Linda Marinda Heywood, Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present (Boydell & Brewer 2000) 12

[10] Walter Rodney, ‘African Slavery and Other Forms of Social Oppression on the Upper Guinea Coast in the Context of the Atlantic Slave-Trade’ (1966) 7(3) J of African History 431

[11] David Richardson, ‘The Portuguese Slave Trade from Angola’ (1991) 32 J of African History <> accessed 21 July 2016

[12] Angola’s Constitution of 2010

[13] ‘Supreme Court Orders Angola 15+2 to House Arrest from Prison’ (

<> accessed 23 July 2016

[14] David Smith, ‘Angolan journalist given suspended jail term over blood diamonds book’ Thursday  The Guardian (Africa, 28 May 2015) <> accessed 22 July 2016

[15] ‘Case History: José Marcos Mavungo’ (Front Line Defenders, 24 May 2016) <> accessed 22 July 2016

[16] ‘Patterns in conflict: Civilians are now the target’ (UNICEF) <> accessed 22 July 2016

[17] Herschell I Grossman, ‘A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections’ (1991) 81(4) The American Economic Rev 912-921

[18] Aw Joey, ‘The role of non-state actors in international relations’ <> accessed 20 July 2016

[19] Wendy Pearlman and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, ‘Nonstate ActorsFragmentation, and Conflict Processes’ (2012) J of Conflict Resolution 56(1) 3-5

[20] UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights Session 60 ‘The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation’ Report by Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, Special Rapporteur<> accessed 22 July 2016

[21] David Isenberg, Soldiers of Fortune Ltd.:A Profile of Today’s Private Sector Corporate Mercenary Firms‘ (Center for Defense Information Monograph, 1997) <> accessed 22 July 2106

[22] Shedrack C Agbakwa, ‘A Line in the Sand: International (Dis)Order and the Impunity of Non-State Corporate Actors in the Developing World’ in Antony Anghie (ed), The third world and international order; law politics, and golbalization (Martinus Nijhoff 2003) pp. 1-18

[23] Kirsten Hegsvold Andersen, ‘Resources and Conflict in Angola An economic conflict analysis’ (Master thesis, University of Oslo 2003) <> accessed 21 July 2016

[24] Lawrence C. Reardon, The Catholic Church and the Nation-State: Comparative Perspectives (Clyde Wilcox ed, Georgetown UP, 2006)

[25] Maliana Serrano, ‘Institutional multiplicity in post-conflict reconstruction: The case of a local church in Bunjei, Angola’, (2013) in Dorothea Hilhorst (ed) Disaster, Conflict and Society in Crises: Everyday Politics of Crisis Response, Abingdon: Routledge 149-166

[26] Peter P. Ekeh, ‘Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement’ (1975) 17(1) Comparative Studies in Society and History 91–112

[27] The concept is elaborated in Chapter 1.2.4

[28]Helene Maria Kyed and Lars Buur, ‘Introduction: Traditional Authority and democratization in Africa’ in Helene Maria Kyed and Lars Buur (eds), State Recognition and Democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave Macmillan US, 2007)

[29] Alfredo Margarido, ‘The Tokoist church and Portuguese colonialism in Angola’ in R. Chilcote (ed), Protest and resistance in Angola and Brazil (U of California Press 1972)

[30] Allan Cain, ‘Angola: Land resources and conflict’ in J. Unruh and R. C. Williams (eds), Land and post-conflict peace building (Earthscan 2013)

[31] Rafael Marques, Bustelo, MG and Roemersma, R. (2003) ‘The media as a tool for civil society’ Unpublished report, Amsterdam: Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) (as cited in Cândido Mendes and Barnaby Smith, Angola Research findings and conclusions (BBC World Service Trust, 2006)

[32] Jon Schubert, ‘Democratisation and the Consolidation of Political Authority in Post-War Angola(2010) 36(3) Journal of Southern African Studies 665

[33] Justin Pearce, ‘Contesting the Past in Angolan Politics’ (2015) 41(1) J of Southern African Studies103

[34] Paulo Conceição João Faria, ‘The Dawning of Angola’s Citizenship Revolution: A Quest for Inclusionary Politics’ (2013) 39(2) Journal of Southern African Studies 293

[35] ‘World Report 2015: Angola’ (Human Rights Watch) <> accessed 5 August 2016; ‘World Report 2016: Angola’ (Human Rights Watch)<> accessed 5 August 2016

[36] ‘Comments on Angola’s Presidential Decree No. 74/15 on the Regulation of Non-Governmental Organizations’ (The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, 4 September 2015) accessed 5 August 2016 <> accessed 5 August 2016

[37] Johan Galtung, ‘Three Approaches to Peace: Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and Peacebuilding’ in Johan Galtung (ed) Peace, War and Defense: Essays in Peace Research, vol 2 (Ejlers 1976)

[38] Vincent Chetail and Oliver Jütersonke, ‘Introduction to Peacebuilding: A Review of the Academic Literature’ in Vincent Chetail and Oliver Jütersonke (eds) Peacebuilding: Critical Concepts in Political Science (Routledge, 2014)

[39] Comerford MG, The Peaceful Face of Angola: Biography of a Peace Process (1991-2002) (M. Comerford 2005)

[40] ibid

[41] ‘Armed Conflicts Report Angola (1975 – first combat deaths) Update: September 2003’ (US Department of Justice)<> accessed 5 August 2016.

[42]Patrícia Magalhães Ferreira, ‘State-Society Relations in Angola’ (Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP) 2009) <> accessed5 August 2016

[43] Vanessa Tinker, ‘Peace Education as a Post-conflict Peace building Tool’ (2016) 5(n1) All Azimuth 27

[44]Charles A. Kupchan, How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (Princeton Studies in International History and Politics, 2010); Louis Kriesberg, ‘Reconciliation: aspects, growth, and sequences’ (2007) 12(1) Intl J of Peace Studies 1

[45] Sami Adwan and Dan Bar-On ‘Shared History Project: A prime example of peace-building under fire’ (2004) 17(3) Intl J of Politics, Culture, and Society 513

[46] Sarah-Jane Koulen, Book Review, ‘Traditional Justice and Reconciliation After Violent Conflict – Learning from African Experiences’ (2009) 53(2) J of African L 321

[47] Mark Freeman and Priscilla B. Hayner, ‘The Truth Commissions of South Africa and Guatemala’ In David Bloomfield, Teresa Barnes and Luc Huyse (eds) Reconciliation After Violent Conflict (Handbook, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2003)

[48] Joanna R. Quinn, The Politics of Acknowledgement: Truth Commissions in Uganda and Haiti (Reprint, UBC Press, 2010)

[49] David Bloomfield, ‘Reconciliation: an Introduction ‘ in David Bloomfield, Teresa Barnes and Luc Huyse (eds) Reconciliation After Violent Conflict (Handbook, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2003)

[50] UNDEF (UN Democracy Fund) ‘Guidance Note of the UN Secretary-General on democracy'<> accessed 25 July 2016

[51] David  Sogge, ‘Angola “failed” yet “successful.”’ (2009) Working Paper No. 81 Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior <> accessed 25 July 2016

[52] Section I Chapter II Angola’s Constitution of 2010

[53] UNGA Human Rights Council Twenty-eighth session 5 December 2014, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic review: Angola A/HRC/28/11

[54] UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) ‘In-Depth’ (Angola)<> accessed 27 July 2016

[55] Eastin Shipman, ‘Angola’s National Education Development Plan’ (2015) Borgen Magazine< > accessed 25 July 2015

[56] ‘Democracy in Angola is an edifice under construction – diplomat’ Agência Angola Press  (Madrid , 29 Oct 2015) <,2044f963-32ec-41dd-9841-876606862fa8.html> accessed 25 July 2016

[57] Rafael Marques de Morais, Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola (Tinta da China 2011) <> accessed 24 July 2017


Test- Charter of rights (Canada)

(Note: This is a test essay written for ABSAS, an agency who claim to provide essays/ dissertations, theses for university students. The agency did not bother to give feedback even after 2 weeks and that gives me the liberty to post it here.)

The hypothetical Law question relates to charter of rights available to Canadian citizens and the answer is here.

The issue on appeal is whether prohibiting sales or renting of obscene material infringes the right to freedom of expression.

The respondent Mr. Garcia contends that s. 163 (1) (2) of the Criminal Code, 1985 infringes his right to freedom of expression provided by s. 2 (b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) and that the Crown’s appeal against his acquittal on 242 counts of selling obscene material is not tenable.

Held: The appeal is allowed. The case is remitted for fresh trial of the 242 acquittals. The Charter under s.1 justifies legal prescription of reasonable limits on the rights afforded by     s. 2(b).


The facts of the case are startlingly similar to R. v. Butler (1992). While logically, an analogous decision could be entered, a brief analysis of the present case is germane. The courts adjudicating constitutional questions may revisit earlier decisions under the principle that along with the need to maintain “finality and stability” of the law, the courts must have flexibility to comprehensively discharge their role. The review may be undertaken only when there are “significant developments in law” or circumstances that “fundamentally shift parameters of the debate” (Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013).

The question whether there are major developments in law is answered in the affirmative. It is true that the courts have viewed obscenity through a different lens since Butler (1992). An earlier judgement allowed the argument that as the aims behind banning child pornography and adult pornography are different, the notions applied when scrutinising child pornography are not appropriate when examining adult pornography. This argument is not strong since the court went on to observe that combining sex and violence or degradation and dehumanization “are likely to cause harm” (R. v. Smith, 2005). Effectively, this opens the Pandora’s Box on what constitutes harmful pornography and what is not, a situation which leads to subjective assessment.

Another argument is that the degree of an infringement must be assessed to determine whether the law is “catching too much” (R. v. Sharpe, 2001). The inference is it must be seen whether obscene material creates a hazard for the society. A conduct can be categorised as indecent criminal activity if it is proved that it poses a considerable risk to individuals or society (R. v. Labaye 2005). Studies (Dept of Justice, 1985) show that pornography promotes an unfavourable mind-set and affects gender equality.

Finally, there is palpable tension in holding that the public is not affected when a conduct is restricted only to members of a private club (R. v. Labaye 2005). After all, the private members will return to mingle with the public and can then pose a hazard. The private use concept is equally questionable (R. v. Barabash, 2015). The Charter does not distinguish between private and public conduct.

As such the respondent’s contention that he was operating but a private club restricted to members is not valid. The case is returned to the trial court for retrial of the 242 acquittals.


Canada Dept of Justice. (1985). Pornography and Prostitution in Canada: Report of the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution. (Report No. NCJ 131616). Retrieved from

Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, [2013] 3 S.C.R. 1101

Charter of Rights and Freedoms (The Constitution Act, 1982

Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c.46 (Criminal Code, 1985)

R. v. Barabash, 2015 SCC 29

R.v. Butler [1992] 1 SCR 452

R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697

R. v. Labaye 2005 SCC 80

R.v. Sharpe 2001 SCC 2

R. v. Smith, 2005 CanLII 23805 (ON CA)





Clever pundit outsmarts the greedy king.

The king was a miser but still greedy to get a good name as a patron of arts and literature. It was the custom, in those days, for authors to dedicate their writings to the kings or scholars to expound their knowledge in the court and receive rewards.
The king in our story, as said was a miser. He hankered after fame but without spending. Therefore when the pundits came to him to recite there writings, he would set a simple test. Who was Rama’s father? This was an easy question. Everybody on answered- Dasaratha. Dasaratha’s father? Some of the scholars could get the right answer & replied “Aja”. Still lesser number could say Aja’s father was Dileepa.

After Dileepa, none could answer; you see they were grammarians, logicians, authors or linguists. They were not mythologists. The king heckled them, “You don’t know even simple things- how can I reward you?” With downcast faces the people went away.

One smart aleck (yes, there’s always one smart aleck around) found a way to teach the king a lesson. When the king began asking him the names of the Rama’s forefathers, after Dileepa, he went on saying Prabhava, Vibhava and so on, freely borrowing the names of the 60 years in the Hindu calendar. Then he continued with names of the 27 stars, yogas and karanas etc.

The king was stumped. Not only he but none of his courtiers either knew the right answers! The King (fuming inside) handed over reward to the ‘brilliant’ pundit! The moral of the story is this: no one knows what happened so many years ago but everyone pretends to be wise and knowledgeable.

(Adopted from “Bhagavantuni meedi paga” by Viswanatha Satyanarayana, written about 60 years ago.)