NEWS


The Legal Assistance Centre regrettably advises the public that it can no longer accept new instructions at this point in time.
We are solely donor-funded and can only operate as per resources available.
We do still offer our screening service (sms – 0816000098, email or  in person) and we invite you to make use of same.  These services may respond to simple queries or may refer you to a relevant stakeholder who may be able to assist.

We remain committed to advancing human rights in Namibia.

PRESS STATEMENT

As a member of the Action Coalition, the Legal Assistance Centre wishes to acknowledge the statement published on 16 May 2022. The excessive use of force in police action can never be condoned in a democratic society. The Legal Assistance Centre records its concern with the actions of the Namibian Police when responding to the protests in Chinatown on the 13th of May 2022…more

26 April 2022 –  The Ombudsman paid a courtesy call on the LAC

The Director of the Legal Assistance Centre, Toni Hancox, welcomed the new Ombudsman, Basilius Dyakugha, at the LAC offices.
“We congratulate the Ombudsman and look forward to collaborating with his office to ensure that all efforts are done to secure access to human rights in our country.
We wish you all the best in this role.  We know that you are up to the challenge!”

20 April 2022 – Presentation on Land Ownership by Foreigners
The LAC’s Uaraera Tjaveondja from the LEAD department gave a presentation to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Land.  The LAC was invited to respond to a petition submitted by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) on 18 March 2019 calling for the regulation of land ownership by foreigners.

The LAC holds the opinion, that the proposed Regulation of Land Ownership by Foreign Nationals Bill canvasses prohibitions, restrictions and limitations on foreign ownership and utilization of commercial, urban, agricultural and communal land.
It is clear that the Bill is born from the well documented national crisis of landlessness and homelessness which needs to be urgently addressed.
However in so doing, one must safeguard against creating laws which duplicate existing laws and raise more questions than answers.
In a nutshell, the proposed Bill is a welcome addition to the discourse on accessing land rights, but needs significant refinement and re-consideration before it can be turned into law.

Here is our full presentation and here the live event.

Bwabwata National Park – The Khwe must be heard
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs (PSCCLA) will undertake a fact-finding visit to Bwabwata National Park in Kavango East from 14 to 16 March 2022. This is in response to a petition submitted by the Mbukushu Traditional Authority during October last year. Among other things, the petition seeks the setting aside of the Bwabwata area as a National Park so as to primarily uplift restrictions on land use and cattle farming. Read more…

Probono 70 – The rule of Law and the Danger of taking the Law into Your own Hands
The principles of the rule of law were established under the Magna Carta in 1215. These stipulate that “No free man shall be seized, imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed, exiled or ruined in any way, nor in any way proceeded against, except by the lawful judgement of his peers and the law of the land” and “To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.”  Read on….

Probono 69 – Natural Capital and Sustainable Development
“Natural capital accounting” is a term sometimes used in describing the value of the environmental inventory for a society. It explores the relationships between the economy, human development and the environment.

Probono 68– Public Interest Litigation
Public interest litigation is court action that seeks to secure human and constitutional rights, particularly where the rights violations affect socio-economically disadvantaged or marginalised individuals or groups.

Web version12 November 2021 – Launch of two new publications

  1. Combating Corruption in Namibia’s Legal Profession
    As part of a campaign to encourage the public to report and combat corruption wherever they encounter it, the Legal Assistance Centre has produced a pamphlet on misconduct by members of the legal profession, to inform the public about what to expect from a legal practitioner and how to make a complaint to the Law Society of Namibia in cases of misconduct. The goal is to provide a model for encouraging accountability. We hope to inspire similar initiatives in other sectors. Print version
  2. Learn about the law: Statute summaries
    We also have started a project to provide short and simple summaries of some key statutes that affect many members of the public, organised by theme. Each summary discusses the main topics covered by the statute, along with some background information and commentary. The idea is to highlight the points that seem to be of most interest to the public. The first batch of summaries was launched today, and we hope to gradually add summaries of additional statutes in future years.

Probono 66 – Free, Prior and Informed Consent: What is it and how does it apply to the protection of Namibia’s indigenous peoples’ rights over their land and natural resources?
The ongoing challenges around the oil exploration has prompted us to take a closer look at a related issue: the free, prior and informed consent principle, and how it relates to the protection of Namibia’s indigenous peoples’ rights over their land and natural resources.

Probono 65 – Safeguarding Children’s Rights 
Namibia’s key law on children, the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015, is intended to safeguard children’s rights against abuse, neglect or other hardships. It provides clear procedures to make sure that children get the protection and assistance they need.
Yet the legal protections for our children are not always applied as robustly as they should be. More…

Probono 64 – The infamous “Red Line”  Why does Namibia have a veterinary cordon fence?
Beef exports play an important role in the Namibian agricultural economy and stringent disease control measures are crucial in sustaining Namibia’s beef exporting industry.  Read more about the origin and importance of the Red Line.

17 September 2021 – No Oil Drilling in Kavango
Call for a moratorium and public inquiry on oil and gas exploration in the Kavango regions. Read more…

17 May 2021 – Tala – Namibian Film Festival
 Some of our films are presented at the first ever Namibian Film Festival Tala!  Please vote for your favourite documentary, story or music.  Our LAC films include Baxu and the Giants, Born in Etosha, Struggle for Justice, a Betta Way, Whispers in the Wind and Not a Life you ask for.

Last week was a good week for us!
We are proud to announce that LAC trustee, Esi Schimming-Chase has been appointed as Judge in the High Court of Namibia as from April 2021.
We congratulate Esi on her appointment as Judge and are confident that she will acquit herself well in this very demanding position.

Our young Social Justice team had their first appearance in court.  They won their case in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court in the fight against domestic violence.  The SJP team successfully argued for an interim protection order to be made final.  Read more on our Blog.

LEARN ABOUT THE LAWS OF NAMIBIA
Legal Information Online

The rule of law requires that laws must be accessible to everyone. The Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) has for many years now been publishing information to help members of the public know the law of Namibia as it stands today.
The LAC publishes three free legal databases to inform the legal profession and the public about the laws in force.
In 2020, the LAC and the Ministry of Justice entered into an agreement making all of these databases into a joint project to ensure their long-term sustainability.

  1. NAMLEX: Index of Namibian law
    This is a list of the laws in force in Namibia, organised by topic, with brief descriptions of each law. In the case of laws inherited from South Africa, NAMLEX explains how they came to apply to Namibia and which South African amendments are in force in Namibia. The index also provides references to rules and regulations, appointments, court cases and commentary under each statute, and includes links to online versions of virtually all of the Gazettes cited. Think of it as the “Wikipedia” of Namibian law. NAMLEX
    was initiated by the late Adv Anton Lubowski in 1988, and continued by the LAC after his death.
  2. NAMLEX APPENDIX: Index of international law
    NAMLEX is supplemented by a separate document called the NAMLEX APPENDIX, which contains detailed entries for all multilateral international treaties that are binding on Namibia. Each entry includes a summary of the treaty, a link to the most authoritative text of the treaty available online, the date when the treaty became binding on Namibia, information about amendments and protocols, and other explanatory information. The NAMLEX APPENDIX is prepared and updated with assistance from the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and Parliament.
  3. ANNOTATED LAWS: Statutes and regulations
    The database of annotated laws was initiated by the Parliamentary Support Project in 2015 and has been maintained by LAC to date. This database includes all statutes and post-Independence regulations in force in Namibia, as amended. This enable users to view or download the current version of a statute in Word or PDF, and to access the regulations issued in terms of each statute. Pre-independence regulations are currently added.

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