Constitutional Court

Statute vs Statue: when judges become art critics

Kenya’s constitution says that the currency of that country ‘shall not’ bear the 'portrait' of any individual. So, when new bank notes were issued earlier this year, depicting the Kenyatta International Convention Centre with Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, clearly distinguishable, seated alongside the building, the question arose whether the new notes were constitutional. Two of the presiding judges felt they had to solve the legal conundrum by deciding whether the bank notes bore a ‘portrait’ of Kenyatta  - or if it was just a picture of a statue.

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The sharp-eyed petitioners in this case were former MP and now legislator in the East African Assembly, Simon Mbugua, with the director of Kenyans for Justice and Development, Okiya Okoiti. They challenged the constitutionality of the new bank notes for their depiction of the man regarded as the founder of modern Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.

Judges critical of Lesotho Parliament's work, punt constitutional changes

Lesotho’s current political bosses – and the country’s economy – have been dealt a new blow. The high court of Lesotho, sitting as a constitutional court, has ruled that plans for dealing with repayment of generous government-guaranteed loans made to two categories of officials, are discriminatory and unconstitutional. Everyone who was given such a loan will now have to be treated in the same way, with the government paying all remaining loans back to the bank, in full.

Lesotho police service becoming "an institution of official torture" - constitutional court

The police in Lesotho, rapidly acquiring a reputation for acting as though they are above the law and even above the courts, have had a rude awakening: that country’s constitutional court has delivered a strongly-worded decision taking the police authorities to task for not obeying the law, and clarifying the rights of suspects in relation to police arrests, detention and interrogation. The judges found that the police violated the constitutional rights of two suspects, held far beyond the time provided for by the law and under unlawful conditions.

Read the judgment on LesLII

From the first words of the introduction there can be no doubt where this judgment is headed – and that it will be a momentous step for the police and the courts in Lesotho.

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