sentence

Judiciary runs out of words for 'barbaric' gender violence

As the international community marks its annual 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence, judges are running out of words to describe the horrific cases of femicide that regularly come before them for trial. A case in point was recently heard by Namibia's high court and concerns the butchery of a woman by the man with whom she had been in a romantic relationship.

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Every week I read scores of judicial decisions from all over the world. Many involve the rape or murder of women or children.

This week was no different.

Society ‘crying out for miracle’ to end brutality against women - judge

Over the last fortnight, the media in South Africa has been filled with particularly terrible crimes involving gender-based violence. In one response, an enormous crowd of women and men, dressed in black, protested outside the parliament buildings, demanding they be addressed by the President. Many were urging that a state of emergency be declared because of on-going femicide and rape. But the problem is endemic in the whole SADC region. And occasionally even the courts are moved to speak strongly on the issue.

Judges lash ‘disingenuous’ magistrate for ‘mind-boggling’ action

A provincial magistrate has come under fire from two judges of the high court in Zimbabwe for “conducting himself as a loose cannon” and for not telling the truth to an accused about what the judges had ordered in their review of the original trial court sentence. The magistrate first imposed a hopelessly lenient sentence on a bus driver whose negligence directly caused the death of six people and then misrepresented to the accused the high court’s order on review.

Read the judgment on ZimLII here

THE unusually strong criticism of the high court judges in this matter was directed at an unnamed provincial magistrate who made a mess of sentencing an accused and then made the situation worse by not following the order of the judges in their review of the case.

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