traditional leaders

Wildlife vs cattle: unauthorised newcomers cause tensions in Namibian conservation areas

Land is a major source of tension and dissatisfaction in Namibia and the courts are increasingly asked to step in when communities feel they are being ‘invaded’ by outsiders whose livestock put unbearable pressure on already scarce grazing resources. The latest such case involves a community trying to reinvent itself as a base for wildlife tourism: members of this community asked the court to order the removal of a number of families, with their livestock.

Read judgment

Community conflict over land and the best way to use it is still a major feature of Namibian litigation more than 30 years after independence.

The problem can be clearly seen in new decision by high court judge Shafimana Ueitele. This case is just one in a series that he and his colleagues have been asked to settle related to land use, particularly in the northern parts of the country.

Ghana’s Supreme Court orders chief’s name reinstated in national register of traditional leaders

With Ghana’s constitution limiting the role of the courts in certain matters related to traditional leadership, judges are not always sure of when they may intervene to right wrongs. But in the case of Nana Abor Yamoah II, and a dispute about his name being removed from the register of chiefs, the supreme court has made something very clear: there has to be justification for action like expunging names, the process has to be fair and involve a hearing, or else the courts would be entitled to intervene and impose their “supervisory authority”. 

Read judgment on GhaLII here

FOR commoners among readers, this is a particularly interesting decision. It trawls the arcane administrative processes required before a chief in Ghana is either “enstooled” or on the other hand, removed, “destooled or deskinned”.

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