Namibia

New book points to solutions for civil case backlogs

When the deputy chief justice of Namibia writes a book on court-managed civil procedure in that country’s high court, then judges in many countries should pay attention. That's because it is written by the judge who is widely regarded as the architect of Namibia's new and highly successful system, and he has made sure that his book will be informative and helpful for other countries wanting to follow the same path - towards judicial case management and a dramatic reduction in civil case backlogs.

Justice Petrus Damaseb’s new book details a judicial revolution: the change from the old, established system for managing civil procedure in Namibia, to a highly-efficient new order in which the ‘orthodox adversarial system’ has been transformed into one ‘where the pace of civil litigation has been removed from litigants and lawyers and placed in the hands of judges.’

Preserve your independence, court urges Namibian election commission

A full bench of Namibia’s high court has found that the country’s electoral commission acted unlawfully when it removed certain approved names from the list of candidates supplied by a political party and allowed other party members to replace them and be sworn-in, instead. Two members of Namibia’s Popular Democratic Movement brought the application when the electoral commission permitted a number of PDM members, not on the PDM list approved by the electoral commission before the polls, to replace those who had been approved by the commission.

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Though it might seem to some a petty issue, brought by candidates irritated with being sidelined from the National Assembly at the last minute, this is a case that goes right to the heart of what constitutes a democratic election. And the proper course for an electoral commission to adopt in order to be – and to be seen to be – independent.

Congratulations to Namibia on its achievements in preventing human trafficking

Namibia has become the only African country to make it to the world’s top-ranking list, ‘Tier 1’, in the fight against human trafficking. This has brought the number of countries worldwide, recognised as Tier 1, to 34 in 2020. Countries at this level have fully met the international standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

The 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, put out every year by the US Department of State, ranks countries in terms of the work they have done to eliminate trafficking. Although reaching Tier 1 does not mean that trafficking is no longer a problem in a particular country, it does indicate that the country concerned has spent considerable energy and resources to deal with it. With the release of the report, US ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, paid tribute to Namibia’s work on the issue.

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