Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, has signed papers suspending parliament for three months. He cited the coronavirus pandemic to explain his decision. Ironically, a full-on legal application contesting the validity of his COVID-19-based decision was heard in a virtually empty court due to steps aimed at containing spread of the disease. But the case also marked a significant step for the country’s broadcaster which, for the first time, carried a court hearing live on national television and radio.
One of Uganda’s most contentious laws has come under fire by that country’s constitutional court. A particularly repressive section giving the police power to prohibit all public gatherings and protest has been declared unconstitutional and the court’s majority took the opportunity to criticise the way police hound and harass any political gathering not called by the ruling party.
The majority judgment of Uganda’s constitutional court in this challenge to the law that inhibited the right to gather and protest, reads like the stirring highpoint of some movie legal drama.
WHEN prominent Seychellois lawyer and political figure, Alexia Amesbury, decided to contest a seat on the country’s human rights commission, she came up against an apparently immovable obstacle: the law disqualifies candidates who hold office in or are employed by political parties from sitting on the HRC. Undeterred, she contested the constitutionality of the relevant sections of the law in the constitutional court of Seychelles. There the judges found it international best practice for such commissions to be “impartial” and without overt party political presence and so Amesbury lost her challenge to all but one of the sections she targeted. The government, however, is appealing even that small victory and so the case is now headed back to court.
WHEN Zimbabwe’s supreme court interpreted the law to mean that companies could dismiss workers with just three months’ notice, without offering any packages or even following any specific retrenchment procedures, the decision lit a fuse.
Job security throughout the country was suddenly a major issue among workers, with widespread concern about mass lay-offs. Rightly so, it would turn out.