11 October 2020 – Let the people raise their voices without fear
The Legal Assistance Centre as a public interest law firm respects the need for the police to maintain law and order. What the Legal Assistance Centre does NOT CONDONE is the heavy handed response to the protestors against SGBV that has rocked our capital in the last days. The police should only use reasonable and justified measures to avert damage to life or property. The use of tear gas against the protestors is neither reasonable not justified.
In a democratic country we are permitted to raise our voices. Sexual and Gender Based Violence has become a scourge in our country. The Government’s lack of action has prompted the current protest.
The President and government are called upon to respond to the pain of its people and take the needed action to prevent SGBV urgently.
In the meantime, let the people raise their voices without fear. -Toni Hancox
The Minister of Justice Yvonne Dausab said on social media that the amendment of the Combating of Rape Act is currently being prepared for parliament.
Read additional news: Namibian or Pdf on this event and more on the arrest here.
Probono 49 – Victims Rights: Information
The victim of a housebreaking goes to court on five different occasions to testify. No one notifies her of the verdict or the sentence when the case is over. She telephones the magistrate’s court to find out what happened in the case only to be told that the information is confidential. She learns of the case outcome only after reminding an administrative official on the phone that Article 12 of the Namibian Constitution requires that judgments in criminal cases must be given in public, which means that the case outcome cannot be secret. Read more…
Probono 48 – The Wildlife and Protected Areas Management Bill
The Wildlife and Protected Areas Management Bill has been under discussion for over 20 years. This proposed new law would introduce new approaches to nature conservation consistent with Article 95(l) of the Namibian Constitution, which promotes the maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity and the utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians.
International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2020 – 28 September 2020
In times of crisis, access to information saves lives, builds trust and brings hope!
The 2020 theme has an uplifting and emphatic ring to it as we mark International Day for Universal Access to Information 2020 against the backdrop of a world mired in crises.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has come to expose and boldly underscore for us again both the fragilities and strengths of humanity. Amid it all we are seeing political, economic and social crises unfolding along with the health crisis. Read more
Issued on behalf of the ACTION Coalition by: Frederico Links, Chairperson
Esi Schimming-Chase has been appointed as acting Judge
We are proud to announce that LAC trustee, Esi Schimming-Chase has been appointed as acting Judge in the High Court of Namibia as from 1 October 2020.
Born in Germany and arriving in Namibia during 1982 she went to St. Paul’s College. She studied Law in Coventry, United Kingdom and was admitted as a Barrister to the Middle Temple Inns of Court in England in October 1994. She returned to Namibia in January 1995 and became the first “black female practicing senior counsel” in the country in July 2017.
We congratulate Esi on her appointment as Acting Judge and are confident that she will acquit herself well in this very demanding position.
Basic Income Grant Coalition Campaign Declaration
This Declaration summarises the shared consensus, critical demands and commitment to Basic Income Grant implementation.
“Neither here nor there” our new book on land rights
The effects of Covid-19 have brought Namibia’s urban housing crisis to be noticed as a humanitarian crisis. The following headlines are a clear indication of this dire situation:
- Shack-tenants demand houses
- Erongo fast-tracking land, housing delivery
- Affordable housing project launched in Windhoek
- Okahandja moves to evict ‘land grabbers’
- Affordable housing to be rolled out nationally
Nearly 2 years ago Namibia held its Second National Land Conference. The one component that distinguished that conference from the First National Land Conference, held in 1991, was the topic of urban land.
Some resolutions were taken, but not much has happened:
- Government to subsidise low-income housing and essential services to increase affordability.
- Scale up community-based land delivery process for the lower income community as they have a much bigger impact.
- Timeframe for land delivery should be limited to six months.
- Prioritise large-scale informal settlement upgrading and integrated, planned urban expansion areas (for new urban residents) and mainstream to all local authorities.
- Build 300 000 housing units/opportunities over the next seven years.
- Allow for partially serviced land (sewerage and water) to be sold. Other services can be added.
- Include the rights to housing as a human right in the constitution.
- Government expenditure should be increased from the current level of 0.1% to at least 10% of GDP.
The LAC has received a research grant from the United States Department of State to compile a series of concept chapters, with a comprehensive and updated examination of the land rights of indigenous and marginalised communities in Namibia including that of Urban Housing.
Due to the impact of the lockdown we did not formally launch the book titled “Neither here nor there”, but it is available at the LAC and some book dealers and on our webpage.
NAMLEX Appendix update
We are happy to present the updated International Laws and Treaties to which Namibia subscribes.
URGENT NOTICE: In light of the spread of the novel corona virus – COVID-19, we would like to limit face to face interactions and consultations with clients, as much as reasonably possible. If clients are not able to call, fax, and/or email us, please leave contact details at reception and we will reach out to you. We will only be the doing face to face consultations where any other means of taking instructions are not possible.
Basic Education Act 3 of 2020 promulgated
This Act comes into operation, subject to subsection (2), on a date to be determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette and different dates may be determined under subsection (1) for the commencement of different provisions of this Act.
The ACTION Coalition welcomes the Access to Information (ATI) Bill that has been tabled in the National Assembly by Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Peya Mushelenga, in June 2020.
On the whole, the ACTION Coalition considers the ATI Bill to be a strong one, that for the most part captures the essence and contains the necessary substance of a modern, workable access to information framework. However, there are a limited number of important concerns with specific sections of the Bill that we feel need to be addressed with the aim of making the eventual law and regulatory framework even stronger. Please read the statement.
23 June 2020 – Presidential visit with the actors of “Baxu and the giants”
Today the LAC met with H.E. Dr Hage Geingob and handed him a collection of postcards written by learners from Zambezi and Khomas Regions, encouraging the President to take wildlife protection seriously and continue to conserve our environment. The main actors of the LAC commissioned film “Baxu and the Giants”, Camilla Jo-Ann Daries and Wafeeq /Narimab joined us for this occasion. Camilla and Wafeeq enjoyed doing the Baxu greeting with the President. Here also in the New Era.
9 June 2020 – ANNOTATED STATUTES
We prepared annotated statues on all of the Covid-19 regulations for a better understanding of the laws made.
11 May 2020 – COVID-19 SUMMARY OF STAGE 2 REGULATIONS
The State of Emergency – COVID-19 Regulations were issued in terms of Article 26(5) of the Namibian Constitution, after the President declared a State of Emergency because of the worldwide outbreak of the disease known as COVID-19.
The initial regulations were issued on 23 March 2020 in Proclamation 9 of 2020 and amended on 18 April 2020 by Proclamation 13 of 2020.
This first set of emergency regulations expired at the end of lockdown on 4 May 2020.
They were then replaced with a new set of “Stage 2” State of Emergency – COVID-19 Regulations issued in Proclamation 17 dated 4 May 2020.
A complete summary of all relevant laws are here.