Lesotho

Court ruling poses Lesotho elections dilemma

Lesotho’s October 7 election date suddenly appears at risk. The date was announced by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission in July, but a new decision of the constitutional court has found that the delimitation of 20 constituencies doesn’t pass constitutional muster, because the range in voter numbers is larger or smaller than the 10% variation constitutionally prescribed. The decision, delivered on August 8, puts the IEC under enormous pressure and it might not be possible to redraw constituencies in time for the elections.

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A new judgment by Lesotho’s high court has left the country’s Independent Electoral Commission in a quandary: how to satisfy election timetables at the same time as fixing invalid constituency delimitations so that they fall within the bounds of the constitution.

Lesotho’s CJ fights back after apex court’s critical judgment

The Chief Justice of Lesotho, Sakoane Sakoane, has reacted sharply to a judgment by the country’s appeal court that found he ought to have recused himself from presiding in a major treason and murder trial. The court found that the prosecution’s claim to have a reasonable apprehension of bias by the CJ was well founded, and ordered that another judge take over the trial. But in reaction, the CJ has questioned whether ‘foreign’ judges ought any longer to preside over cases heard in Lesotho.

Lesotho CJ ‘wrong’ to punish lead counsel in high profile murder, treason case – appeal court

A new decision from Lesotho’s highest court has made some uncomfortable findings about the country’s Chief Justice, Sakoane Sakoane. Three judges from outside Lesotho, brought in to hear the matter to ensure there could be no allegations of partiality given those involved, found that the Director of Public Prosecutions was not unreasonable in her apprehension of bias on the part of the CJ.

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A fractious dispute between Lesotho’s Chief Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions has been decided by the Court of Appeal: three foreign appeal judges found the CJ had shown a pattern of conduct from which it was reasonable for the DPP to conclude that the CJ was possibly biased against the DPP and its lead counsel, controversial SA advocate Shaun Abrahams.

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