Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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Publication Details

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to Technological University Dublin, 2017.


Grand corruption remains a domestic crime that is not directly addressed by the international human rights and international criminal law regulatory frameworks. Scholars argue that the right to a society free of corruption is an inherent human right because dignity, equality and participation significantly depend upon it. The academic discourse linking corruption to the violation of human rights is relatively new, no regional or global human rights instrument has referred specifically to corruption while anti-corruption treaties rarely refer to human rights. There is also insufficient research within this area, establishing the direct causal link between high-level corruption and systemic human rights violations. Therefore, using qualitative interpretative analysis, this thesis aims to address this lacuna with reference to the case of Nigeria by interrogating case law, treaties, and other relevant legal human rights instruments. Consequently, the project placed the relevant international and regional oversight mechanisms under scrutiny by examining the impact of grand corruption upon human rights, as well as the analysis of accountability processes at the domestic level. Furthermore, it undertakes an assessment as to whether a normative gap exists within international criminal law regimes when it comes to the structural violations of socio-economic rights. The project considered the question of whether corruption ought to be framed as an international crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In conclusion, the thesis suggests that grand corruption in Nigeria violates certain human rights and recommends that international criminalisation of the crime of grand corruption could help to combat it in Nigeria.