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Copyright & A2K Issues - 1 December 2020

This is a free online international Information Service covering various topics, including copyright, plagiarism and other IP matters, Open Access, open publishing, open learning resources, institutional repositories, scholarly communication, digitization and library matters, mobile technologies, issues affecting access to k

 

Copyright, Open Access & Scholarly Publishing Webinars (December 2020)

Release police review report, urge more than 20 South African civil society organisations

Dozens of civil society organisations have urged the government to release a report into South Africa's police methods, conducted by a panel of experts set up in the wake of the 2012 Marikana massacre - when police fired into groups of striking miners, killing 34 and leaving more than 70 injured. The report closely examined police methods and related issues and could have played an important role in relation to a pending Bill related to the police.

In one of the darkest days of South Africa’s history, 34 miners were shot and killed by police in August 2012. Official figures put the number of those injured by the police at 78. Though it is a crucial moment in the country’s post-apartheid history, many ends have been left undone and families, victims and society generally have yet to reach proper closure.

Former President, Judge, both ordered to pay legal costs from their own pockets

In a further stunning reversal for Malawi’s former President, Peter Mutharika, he and a former high court judge, Lloyd Muhara, have been ordered personally to pay the legal costs of a case brought to reverse a major decision taken by them just before the elections at which Mutharika was voted out of office. By that decision they hoped to force the Chief Justice to go on leave, pending retirement, in retaliation for a judicial decision finding that the May 2019 elections were invalid.

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Malawi’s judiciary has done it again, handing down a landmark decision that underscores judicial independence and the separation of powers, as well as the heavy price to be paid for anyone who attempts to do so.

The story begins with Malawi’s former President, Peter Mutharika, who had some harsh and dubious things to say about the judiciary and its power relative to the legislature.

Lesotho amnesty deal unconstitutional – apex court

Relatives of people murdered allegedly on the orders of prominent politicians in Lesotho have gone to court to challenge a new agreement brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Under this agreement, all parties have been urged to join talks on the way forward for the country, and those now in exile out of fear of being charged with murder and other crimes, have been assured no action would be taken against them if they returned for the talks.

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When Lesotho’s squabbling political parties bound themselves to a talk-shop, what – if anything – were the legal implications of that agreement? This question has become crucial in Lesotho, and it is made more complex by the fact that the idea of serious negotiations comes from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Since SADC’s involvement is hardly a secret, what standing does any agreement related to the negotiations have in international law?

‘Unstable arithmetic’ indicates corrupt deal – judge

When a Tanzanian court clerk appealed against his conviction and sentence for corruptly demanding payments from a would-be litigant at court, he did not realise that his faulty sums would help confirm his guilt. What Judge Amour Khamis would later describe as ‘unstable arithmetic’ convinced the court that there was no truth in the explanation given for the payments and that conviction and sentence should be confirmed.

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No-one seems to have warned the accused in this case that faulty arithmetical calculations might actually help prove commission of a crime. For Jackson Mrefu it was a slip that was fatal to his case. It lost him his appeal against four counts of corrupt transactions, contravening Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act.

Bail for death row prisoner after long appeal delay

Normally a reader might have little sympathy for someone convicted of murder who is serving time in prison. But the case of Malawian Charles Khoviwa is rather different. Sitting on death row for many years, Khoviwa has been trying to have sentence in his case reconsidered, now that the courts have decided that the mandatory death penalty, in force at the time of his conviction, is unconstitutional.

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Malawi’s judiciary is being hailed internationally for its bravery, sense of justice and protection of judicial independence.

Senior African judge wins second term on top world court

Justice Julia Sebutinde of Uganda is set for a second term on the UN’s International Court of Justice, one of a 15-member bench drawn from jurists round the world. She had faced competition for the slot from contenders put up by Nigeria, Croatia and, because of tensions between the two countries, from Rwanda as well. Justice Sebutinde has extensive international and African experience. She is regarded as probably Africa's most senior woman judge, and her re-appointment last week was widely expected.

Justice Julia Sebutinde from Uganda has been confirmed for a second nine-year term on the International Court of Justice. She joined the United Nation’s ICJ in February 2012, becoming the first African woman on that bench.

Copyright & A2K Issues - 14 November 2020

This is a free online international Information Service covering various topics, including copyright, plagiarism and other IP matters, Open Access, open publishing, open learning resources, institutional repositories, scholarly communication, digitization and library matters, mobile technologies, issues affecting access to k

 

Intellectual Property:

Analysis of Woods and Myburgh Comments on Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) (South Africa)

https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/research/55/

Copyright Law and the Creative Industries

http://infojustice.org/archives/42753

Unscrewing the future: the right to repair and circumvention of software TPMs in the EU

SADC unlawfully terminated Malawi judge's contract - Tribunal

After the disappointing, politically expedient demise of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal, a new decision by its replacement Southern African Development Community Administrative Tribunal (Sadcat) shows how a top staffer of the defunct body was leaned on by SADC to make him go quietly. But SADC reckoned without the determination of Judge Charles Mkandawire, someone who has shown his mettle in contentious cases heard in his home of Malawi.

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The applicant in this important case decided by the Southern African Development Community Administrative Tribunal was Judge Charles Mkandawire. He is a Malawian and was a member of the SADC Tribunal in its glory days when, based in Windhoek, it gave notice, by its work and brave decisions, that it was determined to ensure justice for all the parties that appeared before it.

Seychelles: new Chief Justice announced, sworn in

Supreme Court judge, Ronny Govinden, has been appointed as Chief Justice of Seychelles and was sworn in on November 9.

The new Chief Justice of Seychelles, Justice Ronny Govinden, has been a judge since 2017 and sits in both the criminal and civil divisions of the Supreme Court. His path to office began when he was called to the bar of Seychelles in 2000. Later he moved to the office of the Attorney General and from 2008 to 2017 he served as his country’s Attorney General.

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