Namibia

"Iron fist" needed in fight against poaching, smuggling - court

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The story begins just like a movie: a police sergeant working the x-ray conveyor belt machine at Namibia’s Hosea Kutako International Airport suddenly spots something suspicious about two suitcases as they pass through the scan. She offloads them, and then calls their owners from the departure hall.

According to evidence heard in the matter of Xiaoling v S, however, things did not go quite according to plan for the smugglers after that.

Lesson in democracy for Namibia's intelligence services

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It is surely not overstating matters to call this a watershed judgment. Consider, for example, the argument put up by Namibia’s national intelligence services at the high court and again at the country’s top court: once “secrecy and national security” were at stake, they said, the courts were powerless to do anything other than order suppression of any publication that might infringe such security.

Get your court paperwork in order, Namibian judges warn magistrates

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Magistrates in Namibia have been rebuked by the high court over their failure to follow proper procedures for automatic review: for example, within a week of delivering sentence, magistrates are supposed to send copies of their matters to the high court for judges to certify the proceedings were in accordance with justice. Many do not, and delay in forwarding their records.

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