Magistracy

Magistrates in Lesotho introduce new deal for awaiting trial prisoners

Magistrates across Lesotho, concerned about the continuing conditions there that they believe impact negatively on the rule of law, judicial integrity and general confidence in the legal system, have taken a number of resolutions likely to impact on the courts and the public. Among others, they have resolved to release people being held awaiting trial if their cases ‘are not prosecuted within a reasonable time’. They have also resolved to dismiss criminal cases where ‘pending investigations’ have continued for an ‘unreasonably long time’.

Magistrates in Lesotho are clearly unhappy. This year they have already tried repeated strikes to highlight their concerns but without success - promises made to them have come to nothing. 

Then, this week, representatives of the magistracy from across Lesotho met in Maseru and took a number of decisions likely to impact on the functioning of the courts and the legal system throughout the country.

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