The African Law Service

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

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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.

Lesotho’s acting chief justice slows pending litigation brought by sidelined Chief Justice

IN the midst of the judicial crisis in Lesotho, that country’s new acting chief justice has moved swiftly to stamp her authority on the courts and on the processes that had been put in place to prevent the suspension of the beleaguered chief justice.

On Sunday afternoon, 16 September, the new ACJ, Judge Maseforo Mahase, granted an ex parte order against Lesotho’s Chief Justice, Judge Nthomeng Majara stipulating that the latter was barred from the precincts of the palace of justice. She also barred Judge Majara from any activities associated with the role of the CJ.

High court protection "doesn't filter down to the lower courts" so this Jifa Alum declared magistrates court processes unconstitutional

Glenda Hiskia works as a security consultant with the United Nations mission in Liberia. Though she is a Namibian, her work contract provides that she must live in Liberia for eight weeks at a time with only a brief break home before the next eight week stint begins.

During 2010 she bought a property in a Windhoek building named Urban Space. That was her Namibian base for a while but after unresolved issues with the body corporate she bought another property and moved there, intending to renovate and then let out her Urban Space accommodation.

When courts must be parents

This story appeared first in LegalBrief.

THE two cases heard by the two Kenyan judges both concerned parents anxious about their children who were in trouble with the school authorities. The parents came to court to challenge the suspension or expulsion rulings of the school authorities.

Judges Kanyi Kimondo and Wilfrida Okwany delivered their separate decisions on the same day last month, with a mix of good news and bad, for the affected parents.

Lesotho, Namibia, SA judges in controversial recusal decisions

WHEN the Chief Justice of Lesotho, Nthomeng Majara, was officially suspended on 12 September, government named an acting chief justice: Judge Maseforo Mahase.

The next day, through a letter from her legal team, the Chief Justice disputed the legality of the suspension, saying there were two court orders that specifically barred her suspension, and that when she returned from a conference in Australia she intended to return to her office and take up her normal work.

The eight allegations against Lesotho’s Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara, and their context

AFTER it was voted into power the present Maseru government removed the president of the court of appeal, appointed by the previous government, and sought to replace him with Kananelo Mosito, the disgraced former head of the appeal court. However, earlier this year a full bench of judges declared the government acted unlawfully in removing the constitutionally appointed new head of the appeal court, SA Judge Robert Nugent. The court also found the re-appointment of Mosito was unlawful. Since then the court of appeal has effectively ceased to operate in Lesotho.

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