On the 1st of September, 2017 the Supreme Court of Kenya annulled the Presidential election held on the 8th of August 2017 and ordered a re-run within 60 days. The ruling was made as a result of a petition by the leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga, in which he sought nullification of the results of the elections on the basis that it was marred by breaches of the law and many irregularities.
In annulling the elections, the court per, Maraga CJ writing the majority judgment in 4 - 2 decision said: "Taking the totality of the entire evidence, we are satisfied that the elections were not conducted in accordance to the dictates of the constitution".
In its ruling the court emphasised that the re-run be conducted " in conformity with the Constitution and the applicable laws". In so holding the court affirmed that the credibility of the Kenyan elections would be judged by the extent to which they comply with constitutional principles.
The undersigned organisations are gravely concerned about recent reports of events affecting the judiciary in the Seychelles. The developments in Seychelles have the potential to affect the actual and perceived independence of the court.
Multiple international guidelines and best practice standards highlight the crucial importance of the independence of the judiciary. The Latimer House Principles recognised that “an independent, impartial, honest and competent judiciary is integral to upholding the rule of law, engendering public confidence and dispensing justice.” This principle is reiterated in section 119 (2) of the Constitution of Seychelles which guarantees the independence of the judiciary and makes it subject only to the Constitution and laws of the country.
Access to updated legal resources is an ongoing challenge for those who work in grassroots community justice institutions. Few advice offices have well-functioning computers; internet access is a luxury and resource manuals are often out of date and not shared between staff.
In order to address this problem, the DGRU and AfricanLII have developed a cellphone app for South African community based paralegals paralegals. It contains the 2015 Black Sash paralegal manual, relevant case law and legislation and news about relevant legal developments. Once downloaded onto the phone, it is available offline , providing easy and cheap access to legal resources.
The app can be downloaded from the Play Store. Search for Paralegal Pocketlaw.
The Judicial Institute for Africa( JIFA), a joint initiative of the DGRU, Southern African Chief Justices Forum and ICJ- Africa , is hosting their annual core skills short course for judges . It will be attended by 24 judges from 11 SADC countries and will be run from 24 – 28 April 2017 in the Moot court. The programme is run by a core faculty of judges including Dame Linda Dobbs DBE ( Director of Programmes) and Justice Key Dingake ( UCT Alumnus and Honorary Professor of Public Law) , as well as a number of other judges from the SADC region. Academic experts such as Professor Penny Andrews and Professor Hugh Corder will also contribute to the programme as well as a team of post-graduate students from the faculty who will demonstrate some hypothetical scenarios around motions and applications.