The African Law Service

The African Law Service brings diverse commentary on legal developments from across our African continent. 

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Death penalty overturned for woman who murdered, dismembered husband

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The facts of the case before Uganda’s Supreme Court were just about as bad as they could be.

The accused murdered her 65-year-old husband and when family and others asked where he was she pretended that she did not know. She even told their daughter that he “had other women” and might be with one of them.

Villagers' water pollution case should be heard in UK not Zambia, court hears

FOR almost 2000 villagers in Zambia’s Chingola region, this was a crucial week. A two-day hearing in the English courts could see them finally able to act against the mining outfit they claim has, since 2005, polluted their water and damaged their health, their lands and any prospect of earning a living.

Why Zambia's highest court found President Edgar Lungu eligible to serve another term

Read judgment on ZambiaLII here

 

IN a recent case testing whether Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu may lawfully stand for a third term in 2021, that country’s highest court had something to say about the problem of threats to the judiciary “related to matters before court” - though the judges did not say whom they had in mind.

Women Chief Justices in Africa: why are they under threat?

WOMEN in African’s top judicial positions will have been watching the case of their colleague, the Chief Justice of Seychelles, Mathilda Twomey, with more than keen interest. It is a remarkable fact that, of the southern and east African countries whose decisions we have been writing about recently, women hold top office in just a tiny number of countries. And yet most of these already few women are under scrutiny, facing threat of impeachment or prosecution.

Kenya: Time for courts to develop judicial review as “constitutional supervision of power” - judge

WHEN a court begins its decision with a hymn to the values of the constitution and the rule of law, I would expect to find the judge is about to do something unusual or significant.

Did this happen in the recently-decided case of the Speaker of the senate against two limited liability companies? You be the judge.

Before he even began to explain the facts of the case, though, Judge Mativo, who presided in the matter, spent three paragraphs on the significance of the law, justice and the rule of law in a modern, changing society.  

Somali "forced marriage" case poses headache for UK courts

INCREASING awareness of the rights of children not to be forced into marriage led to this unusual trans-continental case, heard in the UK courts but involving an African family.

It concerns four young Somalis, formerly of the UK but now living in Somalia with their mother. The siblings’ sister, still in the UK, asked for help when she heard that their mother intended to force at least one of the younger siblings into marriage in Somalia.

Critical Criminal Law

by James Grant

Grant holds a PhD in Criminal Law. He taught criminal law for 14 years at the University of the Witwatersrand and is unquestionably a leader in the field. He is now a practicing Advocate and brings his practical experience to enliven the theory of criminal law. He remains affiliated to Wits Law School as a visiting Associate Professor of Law. His PhD thesis is about to be published by Juta and Co, SA. Grant is also the proud author of two of the chapters in the leading text on Criminal Procedure in South Africa: The Commentary on the Criminal Procedure Act.

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