Constitutionalism and Human Rights

This channel aggregates information on constitutionalism, constitution-making, constitutional reform, human rights and democracy issues in Africa. We curate and feature legal developments, caselaw and legislation, scholarly commentary, blogs, and columns.

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Carmel Rickard

Legal Columnist.
Editor in Chief of the Newsletter of the Judicial Institute for Africa at UCT

Since she began working as a journalist in 1981, Carmel Rickard has specialised in writing about legal affairs. She has won widespread recognition (local and international) as well as a number of awards for her work, and in 1992/3 was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard.

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Ugandan Judge Sues Attorney-General

The case, heard in the country’s constitutional court, came out of a settlement order finalized by the judge. One of the parties to that dispute was a government department, and when the agreed amount was due to be paid, the Public Accounts Committee of parliament ordered the judge to appear before it and justify his decision. When he refused to do so the parliamentary committee made a report against him that was adopted by parliament, “purporting to veto” his decision in the high court.

Judge faces impeachment over drunken misconduct - 11 years later

WHEN SA TV viewers saw the video footage they could hardly believe their eyes: high court judge Nkola Motata had driven his Jaguar into the wall of a private resident in Johannesburg. Not just that. He was obviously drunk and disorderly, swearing at those who arrived to deal with the situation and resisting arrest. That was in January 2007. Since then the judge has been on suspension, with full pay.

FOREIGN JUDGES ON LESOTHO BENCH SLAM POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

Of the last four permanent presidents of the court of appeal, one was appointed twice, two were the subject of impeachment tribunals and one was “summarily removed from office” in an unlawful bid to install the favourite of a new prime minister.

The latest judgment concerns senior legal academic Kananelo Mosito. He was the first jurist to be permanently appointed as president of Lesotho’s court of appeal after the resignation of the disgraced former head of that court, Michael Ramodibedi, who handed in his resignation just as his impeachment tribunal was due to start.

REFORMING ZAMBIA’S MENTAL HEALTH LAW: THE CASE OF MWEWA AND OTHERS V THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND ANOTHER

by the Southern African Litigation Center and partners

 

every person is supposed to be provided with healthcare services without discrimination. That is to say, persons with disabilities must enjoy the same health range, quality and standard of services and treatment as provided to others. There should be no discrimination whatsoever.

 

Lesotho High Court Recognises the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Female Soldiers

On 14 February 2018, the Lesotho High Court handed down judgment in a landmark case on women’s rights. The judgment of Sakoane J (as part of a 3 panel bench) in the case of Private Lekhetso Mokhele and Others v The Commander, Lesotho Defence Forces and Others sets an important precedent on the rights of pregnant employees in the military.

[eBOOK] Making the road by walking: The evolution of the South African Constitution

.... This book looks at the character and thinking of some of the judges who have helped to start the process of making our Constitution real. The text reminds us that behind the structures of state and the mechanisms of power stand human beings, in all their frailty, but also in all their courage and determination to make our country better for the poorest in it. In other words, judges who take seriously the promise of constitutional governance and of social justice under law.

Justice Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa

 

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Namibian Supreme Court outlaws ultra-long prison sentences

CARMEL RICKARD

NAMIBIAN judges may no longer impose extremely long jail terms that leave a prisoner worse off than under a conventional life sentence. The country’s top court has found it unconstitutional to hand down “informal life sentences”, via jail terms that are so long that offenders have no possible hope of ever being released before they die.

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