Botswana

Conducting Court Hearings in Botswana under Covid-19 Restrictions: Hidden Feature of ‘extremely urgent applications’

Quite unfamiliar territory it is to find one’s self emailing a Judge about their case before it is filed (let alone emailing a Judge entirely) and even more peculiar calling a magistrate directly, but such are the extents to which extreme social distancing has led our court system in Botswana.

Introduction to Prescribed Restricted Process with regard to Access to Justice

On the 31st March 2020 the President of Botswana declared a state of public emergency and a lockdown duly ensued as of the 2nd of April 2020. In response to the actions of the President, the Chief Justice issued Practice Directive No.2 of 2020 which was later revised on the 10th of April 2020. The key paragraph dealing with access to justice during lockdown is captured below from paragraph 2.1 of the said Directive:

Concern over impact of Botswana's appeal decision on 'refugees'

When Botswana’s Court of Appeal delivered its recent decision on 709 people from Caprivi, living in the Dukwi refugee camp, the judgment came as a serious blow to the hopes of the refugees. It has also raised questions by the refugees and their supporters, local and international, about whether the court was correct in its approach. Less theoretically, the refugees are deeply concerned about the dangers that they believe await them once they are returned to Caprivi, something that now seems inevitable - as well as the impact on their children's education.

Read judgment

During the late 1990s, the Caprivi area in Northern Namibia exploded into violence. Caprivi, a narrow tongue of land stretching from Namibia across the northern border of Botswana, also adjoins the borders of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Botswana: Criminalisation of Consensual Gay Sex is Unconstitutional

The High Court of Botswana has ruled that a ban on consensual gay sex is unconstitutional.  Read the full judgment below, which is reproduced here until such time as BotswanaLII is established.  The PDF of the judgment may be downloaded here.

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOTSWANA HELD AT GABORONE

MAHGB-000591 16

In the matter between:

LETSWELETSE MOTSHIDIEMANG                                                        Applicant

And

ATTORNEY GENERAL                                                                              Respondent
LESBIANS, GAYS AND BISEXUALS OF                                                Amicus Curiae
BOTSWANA (LEGABIBO)

 

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