judicial independence

Against background of “judicial martyrs to the rule of law”, Ghana’s top court considers political interference in judicial independence

IN a sensational new case, Ghana’s highest judicial forum has been considering whether it was lawful for the country’s president to reverse contempt of court sentences. This, after three men were sent to prison for effectively inciting people listening to a radio show to kill judges if they did not like the outcome of a then-pending case. The whole matter, referred to as “Montie 3” after the radio station involved, has touched a raw nerve in Ghana: no one has forgotten the three high court judges who were executed in 1982 on orders of the then political establishment.

Read the judgment on GhaLII 

 

AT the centre of this extremely sensitive case are three men who took part in a live radio panel discussion on 29 June 2016. They commented on a supreme court case related to elections, in which judgment was awaited and threatened to kill judges involved if the case went in favour of the electoral commission, one of the parties to the court action.

Lone judicial voice in runup to Zimbabwe's elections

In Zimbabwe elections on 30 July were followed by violence in which soldiers opened fire on people protesting against what they claimed were “rigged” election results, killing at least six people.  During the months before the elections, however, many court applications tried to ensure broader democracy and a more transparent election process – almost all without success. Read here about the solitary exception in which a judge ordered the ruling party to stop misusing schools and school children for party rallies, only to be overturned on appeal.

OF all the many pre-election cases heard by Zimbabwe’s courts, only one resulted in a judicial decision that broadened and protected democracy. And even in this case, the outcome was overturned on appeal.

The stand-out case was heard by Judge Joseph Martin Mafusire. In Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe v Zanu-PF he was asked for an interim order to prevent school pupils, teachers, school buses and buildings from being used as though they were resources belonging to the ruling party.

"Passing the baton" for judicial discipline in Seychelles

JUST weeks after a top level judicial delegation visited Seychelles and offered help in resolving the conflict gripping the islands’ judiciary, there comes a significant new development: the constitutional court of Seychelles has dismissed the latest appeal of the suspended judge who is at the heart of the ongoing, tense situation.

THE delegation from the Southern African Chief Justices’ Forum was invited by the judicial leaders of Seychelles for a fact-finding mission against the background of growing judicial difficulties.

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