Many people in the legal world will be aware of the looming constitutional crisis in Kenya where the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has refused to appoint a number of judges whose names were presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission. Fewer, however, will have been aware that a similar problem has arisen in Lesotho and that litigation is now pending to test whether the King – Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy – may refuse to approve the appointment of candidates proposed by the commission.
No-one disputes that Lesotho has a serious shortage of judges. And with some having recently retired and two recent deaths, the situation has now become critical.
Towards the end of August, the Judicial Service Commission met to consider new appointments. There were five vacancies, and after the commission’s consideration, five names were finalised and sent to the King for appointment.