Supreme Court

Apex courts in two African countries try to avoid ‘absurd results’ in labour matters

Time limits on filing appeals and reviews can bring litigation to an abrupt end when they are not observed. But what is a court to do if it is not clear when the time limits actually start. The apex courts of two African jurisdictions have found themselves dealing with exactly this question – when do the days of a time limit begin to run? And the question was made even more complicated because the high courts in both countries had produced two contradictory positions from which the apex courts had to choose.

Read Eswatini Supreme Court judgment

Read Tanzania Court of Appeal judgment

 

By a strange coincidence, the highest courts of Tanzania and Eswatini have found themselves delivering judgment on a virtually identical problem within three days of each other.

Malawi case flags growing threats to human rights, role of African Court

Almost every country in the world is experiencing a narrowing of peoples’ rights and freedoms because of government restrictions imposed in the name of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. But will these governments willingly give up their new powers as the contagion eases? And if not, where should the people of a state look for help, if their own courts uphold these infringements of fundamental rights? In Africa, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights would be the court to adjudicate serious rights issues like these.

Judgment of Supreme Court, Malawi, awarding costs against Charles Kajoloweka

Ruling by African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights on jurisdiction to hear Kajoloweka matter and staying enforcement of Malawi's order

Chaotic land ownership records shock Ghana's supreme court

A recent dispute over the rightful owner of a plot of land in Ghana has led the country's highest court to ask why people who sell the same land to several buyers in fradulent deals, are not prosecuted. The judges also expressed their shock at the state of Ghana's records from which it is often impossible to tell the rightful owners of plots of land. They said such chaos, combined with uncertainty about whether property deals are valid, would deter also foreign investors.  

Read judgment

The case of Dora Boateng v Mackeown Investments illustrates the incredible complexity of buying land in Ghana. It also shows the difficulties faced by the courts in sorting out claims and counterclaims about land ownership.

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