Here we post news and developments from within, and affecting, Judiciaries in Africa
This is one of the most bizarre matters I have ever come across. First, it involves a decision by the chief justice of Swaziland effectively banning a lawyer from litigating in that country’s courts. And then, in response, the lawyer concerned has asked the minister of justice to convene an ad hoc committee to investigate whether the chief justice is guilty of serious misbehavior.
THIS is the latest episode in a long-running dispute between Gladys Shollei and Kenya’s Judicial Service Commission. However, what might have started as a straightforward appeal became something quite different with an application by the JSC that virtually all the supreme court judges recuse themselves from considering the matter.
In Namibia the challenge to the chief justice came from lay litigant Ronald Mosementla Somaeb. The first round of his fight with the judiciary concerned a house, owned by the bank, from which he was evicted.
In this case the high court noted, “It has been the practice of this court to bend a little bit backwards in order to accommodate genuine lay persons as justice is for all ….”
THE timing of this judgment is particularly significant. It comes as tension builds between Kenya’s judiciary and other arms of government over judges’ powers to consider the meaning and application of statutes and to act when there are breaches of the constitution. Just a few days ago, for example, some MPs said judges should stop their “constant meddling” in the affairs of the legislature.
Tom Mbaluto was a well-known figure in Kenyan legal circles. He sat in the Milimani commercial court in Nairobi and presided in several high-profile matters. But then the eye of the public and the media settled on him more critically when a tribunal was appointed to investigate corruption allegations against him.
THIS year is rapidly turning into one of the worst yet for judicial independence in Lesotho.