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: