Tanzania’s bail laws have been brought into line with the country’s constitution, following an application by a member of the legal profession. But in the aftermath of the decision there’s confusion and concern, mostly related to the appeal noted by the government the day after judgment was delivered this week. The high court judgment by three judges deals with the problem that the law makes certain offences ‘unbailable’. How does this square with judicial discretion, the petitioner asked.
Two new decisions from the High Court in Namibia show judges on the warpath against drugs and drug dealing. The distinctly tougher line follows a watershed judgment late last year (2018). As I wrote at the time, through that strongly-worded landmark decision the Namibian courts gave notice that they were intent on a serious change to the way they handle cases involving drugs and drug dealing. Judge President Petrus Damaseb and Judge Christie Liebenberg said in that earlier decision that crimes involving drugs and dealing would no longer be tolerated and that sentences would now be ‘appropriately severe’. The fruits of that decision can now be seen in two new cases, the first full judgments reported on the subject in 2019. In one, a man’s 10-year sentence for drug-related offices has been confirmed on appeal. And in a second case, the High Court has upheld a magistrate’s decision refusing bail to two accused in a high-profile case involving suspected drug importation.