Shock "advice" by International Court of Justice on another forgotten African colony
For tourists and investors, particularly those from South Africa, Mauritius is often seen as a quiet paradise, politically stable and a model of both democracy and humane economic development. Now, thanks to a new advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, Mauritius – geographically part of Africa – has also been placed right at the forefront of an international political row that has its origins in the period of high colonialism and that involves the USA and its crucial defence strategies, the UK and the United Nations. The bottom line? - the ICJ tells the UK that holding on to islands that rightly belong to Mauritius, is colonial and illegal. It cannot continue and all UN members are obliged to help implement a plan to end it.
Don't use "constitution" as a "mantra", Malawi Supreme Court warns
Malawi’s former agriculture minister, George Chaponda, was a key figure in that country’s “Maizegate” scandal around the importation of maize from Zambia to replenish stocks that had allegedly fallen low. Public criticism of apparent corruption led to a presidential commission of inquiry and then to high court action to have Chaponda stand down during the inquiry. Though the high court initially ordered Chaponda’s suspension, the supreme court has just ruled that it was wrong to do so, and that the judge had ignored binding precedent. The judgment was important for clarifying Malawi’s approach to judicial review. It has also taken an in-depth look at presidential prerogative among other issues.
"Disgraceful abuse of legal authority" - attorney re-writes court's judgment before delivery
In what two high court judges have described as misconduct “unprecedented in the annals of SA judicial history”, a magistrate has been found to have allowed an attorney to re-write his judgment before delivery. Even worse, the attorney concerned had appeared for one side in the case that led to the judgment. The magistrate, who has since died, initially wrote a judgment four pages in length, but after the attorney’s re-write this increased to 10 pages. The case involved a civil claim against the minister of police who, on hearing that the final judgment had been written by the attorney representing the opposing parties, asked for the judgment to be set aside by the high court. Reviewing the matter, the judges strongly criticized the magistrate and attorney involved and ordered that the case be heard again, from scratch, by someone from outside the district where the first trial was conducted. They also ordered that the legal practice council investigate the conduct of the attorney involved, and that the magistrate and attorney pay the legal costs of the review on a punitive scale.
Valentine's Day Winner: New Tanzanian court rules improve experience of justice by vulnerable groups
Tanzania’s Chief Justice, Ibrahim Hamis Juma, has promulgated new rules that could greatly change how people from vulnerable groups experience courts and the justice system. That is why this is Jifa's winning Valentine's Day 2019 good news story: we like the care it shows for normally-forgotten people with no one else to champion their cause. The rules prioritise cases involving disadvantaged people, and set deadlines for finalizing matters in which they are involved. The new rules alsoprovide that visually impaired people will get a free braille copy of any judgment or order in a case where they are involved, and that a specially assigned employee at each court will be responsible for making everyone at that court more sensitive to “vulnerability issues”.