Seychelles

‘Foreigners everywhere, nationals nowhere’: Southern Africa’s changing response to UN campaign on statelessness

Statelessness, once a ‘forgotten human rights crisis’, has been put at the forefront of a global agenda with the UN’s #Ibelong campaign. Among the most tragic victims of statelessness are children found abandoned in a state and who, in most Southern African states, would as a result never have any nationality. Condemned to a life in a limbo that extends even to their adult years, and that may even be inherited by their children, these stateless persons illustrate how essential the right to nationality is to every person.

In the aftermath of World War II, hundreds of thousands of individuals found themselves stateless in a shattered Europe.

Seychelles: new Chief Justice announced, sworn in

Supreme Court judge, Ronny Govinden, has been appointed as Chief Justice of Seychelles and was sworn in on November 9.

The new Chief Justice of Seychelles, Justice Ronny Govinden, has been a judge since 2017 and sits in both the criminal and civil divisions of the Supreme Court. His path to office began when he was called to the bar of Seychelles in 2000. Later he moved to the office of the Attorney General and from 2008 to 2017 he served as his country’s Attorney General.

Don't view sexual offences only through traditional male perspective - Chief Justice

In one of her last decisions before ending a five-year contract as head of the judiciary in Seychelles, Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey came out strongly on the need for the country’s penal code to be modernised in relation to its definition of consent in sexual offences. The CJ said that at present it only defined ‘absence of consent’, and that it was time ‘to look beyond the traditional male perspective as the prism through which sexual offences must necessarily be viewed.’

Read judgment

In one of her final decisions as head of the judiciary in Seychelles, Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey has shown herself a strong supporter of the rights of women in cases that concern sexual assault, urging that changes be made in the penal code and that ‘myths’ about the ‘normal reaction’ of someone who had been raped be consigned ‘to the dustbin of the history of male perspective myths about rape victims.’

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