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No proof of grade 12 school certificate, so re-election of Zambian former minister declared invalid

When President Edgar Lungu lost the elections in Zambia in August 2021, one of the members of his party who was re-elected as an MP was Joseph Malanji, a former foreign minister. But that re-election was disputed by a rival for his seat who claimed Malanji did not meet the criteria because he did not have a grade 12 certificate, a requirement for election. The high court decided that the election was not valid. Malanji then appealed and the constitutional court of Zambia has now given its decision on the matter.

Last minute Kenyan court order overturns ban on manual voters’ register for polls

Kenya’s high court stepped in, just days before that country’s presidential polls of 9 August, to overturn a decision of Kenya’s Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, the body that runs elections. The commission had decided to bar the use of printed registers of voters as a backup to the electronic system by which the elections will be run. That decision was contained in a letter that the commission had written to one of the contending parties.

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In the last days before Kenya’s August 9 elections, the high court made a crucial intervention: the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBE) was ordered to permit the use of the manual voters’ register as a backup to its electronic system.

Kenya’s constitutional court puts job interviews on hold after ads for 600 new posts

As tensions rise in many African countries over inadequate service delivery and development, Kenya’s Baringo County administration is being asked to explain its advert for 600 new posts. Human rights activist, Isaiah Biwott, has successfully argued that the constitutional court should grant an interim interdict preventing the county from going ahead with interviews for more than 600 new staff.

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Kenya’s constitutional court has granted a temporary conservatory order, preventing a county government from going ahead with a recruitment exercise: an advert in the local media, published during March, mentioned that more than 600 staff were to be hired.

Judges refused appointment suffer ‘unlawful discrimination’ says Kenyan high court

The blunt refusal of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint or promote six judges of the more than 40 recommended during 2019 by the Judicial Service Commission, has unleashed a storm of ligitation, with human rights and constitutional groups determined that the law should intervene to give effect to the JSC decision.

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Three high court judges have decided a new round of litigation in the ongoing problem caused by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s refusal to appoint or promote six judges from among 40 named by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). It’s a scandal that has been dragging along since 2019, still without any end in sight.

Considering the world’s response to human trafficking: the annual report

The annual report by the US state department on the efficacy and commitment of the world’s nations to fighting human trafficking is always a moment for reflection. A particular focus of the report this year is the role that should be played by people who have had personal experience of being trafficked. But most of the report, as usual, deals with how different states are shaping up in the struggle to curb trafficking and the particular challenges that they should address in the future.

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What are the kinds of actions that the writers of this highly influential report consider in deciding whether a country has progressed in the fight against trafficking?

Top Namibian court slams capital’s municipality over rule of law transgressions

Unlawful action by the municipality of Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, has been slammed by the Supreme Court, whose judges said the municipality’s ‘resort to self-help’ transgressed the country’s commitment to the rule of law. They were deciding an appeal related to the municipality’s actions against Paratus, a licensed telecommunications company that was installing fibre optic cables in the city.

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The municipality of Windhoek has come in for serious criticism by Namibia’s Supreme Court for ‘deplorable’ abuse of power and acting outside the rule of law in such a way as to warrant the ‘severe censure’ of the court.

African Court orders Malawi to compensate victim of oppressive pre-democracy laws

A judgment of the African Court has brought the promise of justice to a Malawian family, victim of the country’s one-party, undemocratic and often brutal past, and that has been unable to obtain redress through Malawi’s own courts.

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The long-term impact of Malawi’s brutal and undemocratic past has been highlighted by a recent decision of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Namibia’s apex court confirms new trend in media freedom cases

In a new judgment of extraordinary importance for freedom of expression and media freedom in Namibia, that country’s highest court has confirmed the development of the common law to give greater protection to the Namibian media so that, as the court put it, its ‘important democratic role of providing information to the public is not imperilled by the risk of defamation claims.’

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This new judgment illustrates how Namibia’s highest court is determined to protect media freedom, given its constitutional importance in that country. But behind the theoretical questions lie contested facts concerning the fate of three elephants, and a defamation case against the Namibian Sun, arising out of this dispute.

Law imposing three-year wait for divorce found unconstitutional by Kenya’s appeal court

With five forms of marriage from which to choose, couples in Kenya could find it easy enough to tie the knot. It might be a different story for some if they want an early divorce, however. That’s because those opting for a civil marriage must wait a minimum of three years before they may start divorce proceedings. Claiming this provision is unconstitutional, a Kenyan advocate has brought legal action to test the three-year limitation.

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Couples wanting to marry in Kenya have some decisions to make: there are no fewer than five forms of marriage from which to choose.

Major new global research shows judges under stress – and without help to cope

A significant new report on judicial well-being has been published by the Global Judicial Integrity Network. It’s the result of a survey involving 758 judges from 102 countries across all parts of the globe. The high response rate is seen as indicating that the topic is one of great interest to judges generally. The report gives important data about the causes of stress among judges and the consequences of that stress; judicial responses to the changes forced by Covid-19, and what could be done to ensure better mental well-being among judges in the future.

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Major new research by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and its Global Judicial Integrity Network, shows a strong link, worldwide, between judicial well-being and judicial integrity.

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