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'Judicial independence on trial’ in case involving Malawi’s Chief Justice

Malawi’s high court has decided that attempts by the country’s former President, Peter Mutharika, to get rid of the Chief Justice and other senior judges by placing them on enforced leave pending retirement, were illegal and unconstitutional. The decision, delivered this week, followed major local and international support for the judiciary of Malawi, after the announcement of the former President’s steps against its leadership.

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For everyone involved, either directly or as a concerned onlooker, with judicial events in the days before Malawi’s June elections, the judgment delivered this week by Judge Charles Mkandawire will come as a great relief and vindication.

Victory for pregnant women after rethink by Constitutional Court

Uganda’s constitutional court has delivered a major victory for the health of pregnant women. The case was brought by the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, along with a health law expert and the relatives of two women who had died in childbirth because of Uganda’s inadequate maternal healthcare conditions. Five constitutional court judges found that the government was underfunding maternal healthcare to the extent that it was unconstitutional.

New head of judiciary for Uganda

Following the retirement of Uganda’s chief justice, Bart Katureebe, the country’s judiciary has a new leadership team. The new Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice were announced by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. His official decision came as no surprise as the names had been openly known and discussed for some time before the official announcement. 

Judge Alfonse Owiny Dollo, who had been Deputy Chief Justice under the retired leader, now takes over as Chief Justice of Uganda. The new deputy to Justice Owiny Dollo is a member of the Supreme Court, Judge Richard Buteera.

The new Chief Justice has a number of major challenges facing him. These include the perception of corruption on the bench, a perception greatly increased by the recent US State Department announcement that two Ugandan judges were involved in serious bribery and corruption related to an adoption scam.

Judge Key Dingake in new top post

A long-standing member of faculty of the Judicial Institute for Africa, Justice Key Dingake, has been sworn in as a member of the Seychelles Court of Appeal.

Judge Oagile Bethuel Key Dingake has met many members of the African judiciary during his teaching stints as a member of faculty of the Judicial Institute for Africa (Jifa). He has been most recently working in Papua New Guinea where he was a member of the Supreme and National Courts. Last week, however, he was sworn in as a members of the Court of Appeal of the Seychelles.

Shock judgment bars Zimbabwe human rights lawyer from crucial human rights case

The legal world was stunned this week by the news that Harare magistrate, N Nduna, had ruled that a lawyer appearing in a case before him was ‘disqualified’ from continuing to act in the matter. Whatever the case, this would have caused concern because of the drastic nature of the step. But this is not just any case. The accused person is an award-winning investigative journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, who had been researching government corruption questions before his arrest. And his lead counsel is internationally-acclaimed human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.

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Any reader of this story is sure to head over to Facebook to check an essential element of the case. In the search block you should type in ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law’. You’ll find that the page is actually called, ‘Lorie Conway’s Page about the film Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law’.

Two Ugandan judges, two attorneys, sanctioned by US state department over bribery, corruption & adoption scam

Two Ugandan judges and two attorneys have been named and sanctioned by the US State Department for their role in bribery and corruption related to an adoption scam. One of the two judges retired last year; the other is a sitting judge. A statement on behalf of the judiciary said that there had been awareness of these allegations for some time and that they were being investigated. However, there seems to be little doubt in the legal profession that the investigations will show the judges and the attorneys were involved as the US authorities claim.

Ugandans were shocked this week to hear that the US State Department had issued a statement implicating four local lawyers – two attorneys and two judges – in an international adoption scam.

Some justice at last for girls, women, raped by police in Malawi

It was a major scandal at the time, but nothing had been done about it until now. Last October, a number of police raped and sexually abused at least 18 girls and women outside Lilongwe, Malawi. The attacks by police were in apparent retaliation for a political protest that had led to one police officer being killed. Since then there was complete inaction by the police, with neither investigation nor arrest.

Copyright & A2K Issues - 14 August 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 knowledge (A2K), particularly in developing countries; WTO and WIPO treaties and matters; Free Trade Agreements and TRIPS Plus; u

 

Intellectual Property:

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

https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1057&context=research

Support grows for Zimbabwe protesters

A number of legal and human rights organisations have expressed support for the people of Zimbabwe and for lawyers who are struggling on behalf of clients arrested by the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This week Human Rights Watch issued two statements on the situation in Zimbabwe. One urged that the Southern African Development Commnity (SADC) and the African Union should urgently speak about against the violent crackdown on ‘peaceful anti-corruption protests’.

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