Supreme Court

Top Namibian court slams capital’s municipality over rule of law transgressions

Unlawful action by the municipality of Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, has been slammed by the Supreme Court, whose judges said the municipality’s ‘resort to self-help’ transgressed the country’s commitment to the rule of law. They were deciding an appeal related to the municipality’s actions against Paratus, a licensed telecommunications company that was installing fibre optic cables in the city.

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The municipality of Windhoek has come in for serious criticism by Namibia’s Supreme Court for ‘deplorable’ abuse of power and acting outside the rule of law in such a way as to warrant the ‘severe censure’ of the court.

Namibia’s apex court confirms new trend in media freedom cases

In a new judgment of extraordinary importance for freedom of expression and media freedom in Namibia, that country’s highest court has confirmed the development of the common law to give greater protection to the Namibian media so that, as the court put it, its ‘important democratic role of providing information to the public is not imperilled by the risk of defamation claims.’

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This new judgment illustrates how Namibia’s highest court is determined to protect media freedom, given its constitutional importance in that country. But behind the theoretical questions lie contested facts concerning the fate of three elephants, and a defamation case against the Namibian Sun, arising out of this dispute.

Eswatini supreme court calls delayed trial ‘a form of torture’

Eswatini’s highest court has strongly criticised that country’s prosecution service for how long it took to bring a murder case to trial. Writing a review judgment in that case, the court called the 13 years it took to begin the trial ‘a form of torture’ for the accused in the matter, adding that the delays were unconstitutional.

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The supreme court in Eswatini has made stinging criticism of the country’s prosecution services because of how slow it was in bringing a murder suspect to trial. The court called these delays ‘not only a form of torture’ but also unconstitutional because it contravened ‘the speedy trial’ requirements of the country’s supreme law.

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