international law

Strong human rights judgment for prisoners in Lesotho

In an important human rights judgment, the high court of Lesotho has held that a former army commander, Tlali Kamoli, now a prisoner, refused bail and standing trial for murder and attempted murder, may attend the funeral of his son who died recently. The decision is important because Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane, who wrote the decision, stressed the principle that the human rights of prisoners had to be taken into account in making such a decision - and in fact did so in his judgment.

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In the introduction to his decision, Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane explained that the applicant in this case, Tlali Kamoli, in prison and waiting for the conclusion of his trial, had heard the news of his son’s death and had applied to attend the funeral.

Oops! We Blew it! Zimbabwe’s supreme court backtracks earlier international law decision

TOP courts rarely revisit their own decisions and own up to being wrong. But Zimbabwe’s supreme court has done exactly that, finding that a key section of a 2004 judgment was wrong. Not just that: the mistake has had to be admitted under the watchful eye of the world’s international organizations, all of whom were potentially affected by the outcome. To make matters even more sensitive, one of the judges who concurred in the earlier decision has now been the author of the correction, none other than the president chief justice, Luke Malaba.

Read new judgment here

Read overturned judgment here


WRITING for a five-member Supreme Court, Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Luke Malaba does not pull any punches about that country’s top court having made a mistake. A critical section of the 2004 judgment “is wrong”, he declares, adding: “It must not be followed.”


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