The African Law Service

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

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Don’t use “constitution” as a “mantra”, Malawi’s supreme court warns

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When Malawi was gripped by a maize shortage scare a few years ago the government arranged to buy more from Zambia. But allegations of corruption soon followed against George Chaponda, then minister responsible for agriculture, as well as other officials in Malawi and in Zambia.

So great was the public outcry that a presidential commission of inquiry was established to investigate.  

Citing “canteen factor”, judge stops law firm from acting against its own client

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For a year following a breach of cyber security at Uganda’s Crane Bank, staffer Shakil Pathan Ismail was drawn into the investigation. After his password and that of another member of staff were used in an electronic hacking fraud during August 2015, the investigators put his salary on hold, promising that it would be “reinstated” once the police inquiries were completed. But this never happened.

Judges on warpath against drug scourge

The two Namibian high court judges who heard the appeal by drug-accused Paul Umub did not mince their words. Upholding his 10-year sentence they said: “The courts must step in and impose severe sentences, never heard of before, as we are losing the battle against drug abuse. … The sentences … imposed must be so severe to deter the appellant and would-be offenders from committing such offences.”

"Disgraceful abuse of legal authority" - attorney re-writes court's judgment before delivery

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Just one sentence into the judgment, and you know this is a legal scandal of significant proportions: Judges Thembekile Malusi and Mbulelo Jolwana said the “misconduct which culminated in this review, to the best of our knowledge, is unprecedented in the annals of the judiciary in this country. We hope it will never be repeated by any judicial officer.”

Secularism in Ghana "obviously" encourages state accommodation of religion and religious identity - Supreme Court

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As part of Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2017, the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, turned the first sod for a major national symbolic structure – the Ghana National Cathedral. To be funded by individuals and organisations within the Christian community, the cathedral is said by the government to be a priority project. But it is not without its critics.

Court tells Ugandan Law Council: ad hoc decisions about admission to practice wrong and must stop

 

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At the heart of this case stands a forlorn, would-be advocate. Ugandan Tony Katungi is keen to join the profession but he found that the Law Council put obstacles in his way, delaying access to the profession and making it more difficult and more expensive.

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