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.

Probono 63Are vaccine mandates constitutional?
Debates about Covid-19 vaccination have been raging around the nation, despite clear statements from both the Namibian Government and the World Health Organisation that the vaccines in use in Namibia are generally safe and effective, with serious side effects being very rare – and that the risks of Covid-19 far outweigh the risks of having the vaccine. Read our Probono and longer article on this topic.

Probono 62 – The Ombudsman and Children in Detention
The Ombudsman has long crusaded for the rights of Namibian children in detention, carrying out several investigations and producing reports setting out concerns in this regard over the years.

Probono 61 – The Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution Bill
The Bill supports the restitution of land rights to persons or communities that have lost their land rights as a result of past discriminatory laws or practices.  Given Namibia’s shared political and legal history with South Africa, we also consider what Namibia could learn from the South African land rights restitution experience.  Here follows an overview of the Bill.

Probono 60 – Parental Deception hurts the Child
Recently, The Namibian ran an article about men being “deceived into fatherhood”.  We should indeed be concerned about women who deceive men, but equally concerned about men who try to evade their duties as fathers – and we should be concerned most of all about the children who are affected by the deceptive actions of their parents.

Probon0 59 – Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Claims of Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution
The restitution of ancestral land rights in Namibia has since independence divided opinions. Some argue that it is a fitting process in dealing with colonial era land dispossessions, while others are concerned about the complexity of implementing this kind of restitution.

Probono 58 – Combating of Immoral Practices Act
The Combating of Immoral Practices Act 21 of 1980 is a law that is much misunderstood. Many have called for it to be repealed, wrongly believing that it criminalises homosexuality in some way. But this is not the case.

Probono 57 – CCPA – Environmental Assessments
Article 95(l) of Namibian Constitution is the focal point for the protection of Namibia’s environment. It declares that the Government will take steps to maintain Namibia’s ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity. It also says that the Government will try to make sure that all of the nation’s living natural resources are used on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future generations. Read more in our ProBono.

Probono 56 – CCPA – Child Marriage
Child marriage has been in the news recently. It is worrying problem.

Probono 55 – CCPA – Harmful practices
Are initiation customs such as sikenge and olufuko harmful to the girls who take part in them? Press reports on these rituals quote positive and negative perceptions from different participants.  Read more in our ProBono.

Probono 54 – What is international law and why does is matter to Namibia?
International law is a set of rules, norms and standards generally accepted in relations between countries. It creates common legal obligations to guide countries on cross-border issues such as war, diplomacy, trade, the environment and human rights. In general, the purpose of international law is to help countries to follow stable, consistent and organized international relations.

Probono 53 – Witchcraft
A young woman in Windhoek was recently murdered, reportedly by a man who accused her of witchcraft. Last year, it was reported in the press that a woman in the Kunene Region was shackled and isolated in a hut for years because her family believed that she was a witch – when in fact she was actually suffering from dementia, which typically involves confusion and forgetfulness. Law on witchcraft.

Probono 52 – Climate Change 
Climate change, or global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on earth.  While it is mainly caused by humans burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air, it is also evident that as per National Geographic magazine that the “Fracking boom (is) tied to (the) methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere“.  Read more

Probono 51 – Domestic Violence and same-sex partners
The current Combating of Domestic Violence Act is about to be amended. Currently, that Act protects people in “domestic relationships” as defined in the Act. One form of domestic relationship is couples who are cohabiting or in dating relationships – but the Act protects such relationships only between people “of different sexes”. Thus, same-sex couples are excluded from any protection under this law.

Probono 50 – Oil exploration in Kavango
It has recently been reported in the media that Reconnaissance Energy Africa, a Canadian mining and exploration company, plans to prospect for oil and gas in the north-eastern regions of Namibia bordering Botswana. In view of this announcement, this article aims to give a brief overview of the applicable legislative framework that regulates mining activities in or near environmentally sensitive and protected areas.  More from Recon here  and more on our page.

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 48The 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.

Probono 47Criminal Convictions as a Disqualification for Public Office
The right to participate in peaceful political activity, including the right to be elected, is enshrined in the Namibian Constitution, as well as several international charters to which Namibia is party.

Probono 46The role of Traditional Authorities in promoting sustainable use of Namibia’s natural resources
Customary law has since Pre-colonial times played a central role in the protection of Namibia’s environment and communally shared natural resources. At independence, the Namibian Constitution through Article 95(l) placed a duty on the government to develop an appropriate legal framework to protect the environment and to promote the sustainable utilisation of the nation’s natural resources. Namibia’s current legal framework on Traditional Authorities and communal land user rights outlines the responsibilities of Traditional Authorities in achieving these goals.

Probono 45Cabinet confidentiality

ProBono 44 – Ancestral land rights
Many of Namibia’s indigenous communities lost their ancestral lands during the colonial and apartheid times. Yet the topic of ancestral land claims has been an uneasy political debate since Namibia gained its independence in 1990. Also in The Namibian and this Blog by Willem Odendaal.

ProBono 43 – Admission of guilt fines

ProBono 42 – Environmental laws

ProBono 41 – The powers and duties of the Law Society

ProBono 40 – Illegal Fencing and the law

ProBono 39 – Use of Force by Police Officials

ProBono 38 – Presidential Debates

ProBono 37 – New laws in 2019…the fewest since independence

ProBono 36 – Election Day: Making sure that you can vote

ProBono 35 – Election Day: What to do if you witness an irregularity

ProBono 34 – Election Day: Persons and procedures

Probono 33 – Preventative Detention

Probono 32 – Child Abuse

Probono 31 – Paper Trails at the Elections

Probono 30 – Proving Citizenship for voting

Probono 29 – Problem Animals

Probono 28 – Sodomy

ProBono 27 – Independent Candidates

ProBono 23 May 2019 – Rule of Law 6 – Proper Procedures

ProBono 9 May 2019 – Rule of Law 5 – Knowing the law

ProBono 25 April 2019 – Rule of Law 4 – Presidential Immunity – Is the President of Namibia above the law?

ProBono 11 April 2019 – Rule of Law 3 – The Legislature and the Judiciary: Who has the final say

ProBono 28 March 2019 – Rule of Law 2 – The Executive and the Legislature: Dormant Laws and the Balance of Power

ProBono 14 March 2019 – Rule of Law 1 – Why it matters

ProBono 26 – Sterilization and Consent

ProBono 25 – Paternity disputes

ProBono 24 – Surrogacy

ProBono 23 – Women and Communal Land

ProBono 22 – Land Expropriation

ProBono 21 – Access to justice: Who can bring a case to court

ProBono 20 – Preventing convicted offenders from working with children

ProBono 19 – Pro Bono

ProBono 18 – Marriage Officers

ProBono 17 – Rhino Horn Trading

ProBono 16 – Father’s consent to Adoption

ProBono 15 – Intestate Inheritance

ProBono 14 – Wills

ProBono 13 – Children’s Right to claim Maintenance

ProBono 12 – Prescription

ProBono 11 – Marital Property

ProBono 10 – Penalties for poaching

ProBono 9 – Corporal Punishment in Private Schools

ProBono 8 – Abortion after Rape

ProBono 7 – Police Searches

ProBono 6 – Learner Pregnancy: Management

ProBono 5 – Learner Pregnancy: Prevention

ProBono 4 – Rape and Disability

ProBono 3 – Public Demonstrations

ProBono 2 – Compensation for Crimes

ProBono 1 – Pro Bono Legal Practitioners