Rights in the Family



Attorney General of Botswana v Unity Dow, Court of Appeals of Botswana, (1992) (103 ILR 128, [1992] LRC (Const) 623)
Citizenship law under which a child born of a marriage between a female national and a male foreigner does not acquire citizenship is discriminatory and impairs women’s rights with regards to their children. The Court consulted the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Organisation of African Unity Convention on Non-Discrimination.

Details of Attorney General of Botswana v Unity Dow:Read online


Marckx v. Belgium, European Court of Human Rights, Series A, No. 31, 13 June 1979.
An illegitimacy law allowing a family to be formed only by a formal act of recognition by the mother and limiting the mother’s capacity to give or bequeath property to the child is discriminatory and infringes upon the right to respect for family life and the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Details of Marckx v. Belgium:Read (pdf)


Patricia Molu v. Cidie Molu, Supreme Court, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 15 May 1998. (In A Digest of Case Law on the Human Rights of Women [Asia Pacific]. Eds. Forster, Christine, Imrana Jalal, Vedna Jivan and Madhu Mehra. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. 2003, pp.76-8)
The Court overturned the common law presumption that the father has the right to custody of his children and held that the State is bound by the Convention of the Rights of the Child and must award custody to the mother or father based on the best interests of the child.


Muojekwo & Ors v. Ejikeme & Ors, Court of Appeal, Nigeria, 9 Dec 1999.
Customs denying female family members inheritance of property should be eliminated because they are “repugnant to the principles of natural justice, equity and good sense” and because Article 5 of CEDAW requires they be eliminated.