rule of law

Bail grant to former First Lady of Lesotho: court finds 'gross irregularities'

Lesotho's former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, third wife of the country's former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, has been charged with murdering her predecessor, the former PM's second wife. Though Maesaiah was granted bail by the country’s Acting Chief Justice, an Appeal Court bench – consisting of three ‘outside’ judges – has now found the bail decision tainted by ‘gross irregularities’.

For relatives and friends of Lipolelo Thabane, Lesotho’s former first lady, murdered in 2017, the question of whether bail was validly granted to one of the suspects in her killing was a matter of personal safety and ensuring the integrity of the eventual trial.

Malawian law students lose their challenge to Covid-19 university closure

A group of four students studying law in Malawi have lost their high court case challenging the validity of the President's Covid-19-related directives. They also lost their challenge to the closure of their university in terms of those directives. But it was not all bad news for them – at least the students won commendation from the presiding judge for ‘taking their future seriously’.

Read judgment by Judge Zione Ntaba, 7 April 2020

Read judgment by Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda, 3 April 2020

 

Fix laws or face huge damages claims – judge warns Malawi lawmakers on the state of Covid-19 disaster legislation

In a long and highly unusual judgment, a judge of Malawi’s high court has shown that the country’s legislation is completely unprepared to manage the coronavirus pandemic, and without the appropriate regulations or, in some cases, even appropriate laws. The judge made these findings in a case that concerned 10 Chinese nationals visiting the country. In a series of steps by officials of Malawi’s immigration and citizenship services some were deported, while the remaining four are still in Malawi although attempts were made to send them back to China.

Read judgment

The decision delivered by Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda in this case is long, dense and in parts highly unusual in style.

In view of the significance of the judgment, for Malawi and other countries needing to make regulations to manage the coronavirus pandemic, this discussion of the judgment is longer than usual. It is divided into three parts:

1. The story of the Chinese visitors and initial argument in the case they have brought

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