The African Law Service brings diverse commentary on legal developments from across our African continent.
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Professor Tom Odhiambo Ojienda is a familiar name in Kenya’s law reports. At the moment he is involved in several long-running disputes over his tax affairs, without any indication that these matters will be resolved any time soon.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.