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Title:The case against Taylor's asylum: a review of Nigeria's domestic and international legal obligations
Author:Nmaju, Mba ChidiISNI
Periodical:African Journal on Conflict Resolution
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Subjects:heads of State
right of asylum
law of war
About person:Charles McArthur Ghankay TaylorISNI
External link:https://www.accord.org.za/ajcr-issues/%ef%bf%bcthe-case-against-taylors-asylum/
Abstract:Nigeria's decision in July 2003 to grant asylum to the Liberian president, Charles Taylor, despite his indictment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, prompted a plethora of criticism both within Nigeria and internationally. In November 2005 a domestic court in Nigeria held in a preliminary ruling that it had the jurisdiction to review the grant of asylum to the former Liberian President. In March 2006 Nigeria eventually handed Mr. Taylor over to Liberia, which immediately transferred him to the Special Court. The present study considers the international and domestic legal issues that arose as a result of the decision to house Taylor and shield him from justice from 2003 to 2006. It addresses the question of Nigeria's obligations towards both the international community and its citizens. It argues that though Nigeria's asylum offer to Mr. Taylor was a breach of its international legal obligations (under international humanitarian law), the effect of the breach (if any) is assuaged by such factors as the country's obligations to maintain international peace and to ensure stability in Liberia (these being part of the core purposes of the United Nations). The decision to give refuge to Mr. Taylor was not to sustain impunity, as there is no time bar for the prosecution of those accused of international crimes, but to make certain the subregion is stabilised first before Mr. Taylor could be prosecuted. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]