Judges and Judiciary

All three top posts in Zambia’s judiciary held by women – Chief Justice Irene Mambilima

As many African states struggle to increase the number of women on the bench and in leadership positions, one country in particular can boast of the substantial progress it has made in this area. Zambia’s Chief Justice Irene Mambilima spoke about the issue in a speech she delivered last week. She disclosed that all of the three top judicial posts are now held by women.

 

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Chief Justice Irene Mambilima of Zambia, invited to address the country’s women accountants, said that the theme of the symposium which focused on women in leadership roles, was one dear to her heart.

Magistrates in Lesotho introduce new deal for awaiting trial prisoners

Magistrates across Lesotho, concerned about the continuing conditions there that they believe impact negatively on the rule of law, judicial integrity and general confidence in the legal system, have taken a number of resolutions likely to impact on the courts and the public. Among others, they have resolved to release people being held awaiting trial if their cases ‘are not prosecuted within a reasonable time’. They have also resolved to dismiss criminal cases where ‘pending investigations’ have continued for an ‘unreasonably long time’.

Magistrates in Lesotho are clearly unhappy. This year they have already tried repeated strikes to highlight their concerns but without success - promises made to them have come to nothing. 

Then, this week, representatives of the magistracy from across Lesotho met in Maseru and took a number of decisions likely to impact on the functioning of the courts and the legal system throughout the country.

Last minute 'settlement' in Lesotho's shock judicial disputes

As fresh elections in Lesotho seem increasingly likely because of splits in the ruling party, a last minute settlement means the judicial disputes that have shocked the legal world over the last month are, at least for now, off the table. The settlement came shortly after new details emerged of barbed correspondence between the President of the Court of Appeal, the Acting Chief Justice and the Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane.

The ongoing crisis in Lesotho's judiciary, involving internal tensions as well as problems between the judiciary and the country's political leadership, has been taken off the boil - at least for now. This follows a last-minute settlement of several high-profile cases that, had they continued, would have destroyed all semblance of judicial independence and were set to create a constitutional crisis.

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