ICJ to visit Swaziland

by | Jan 10, 2003 | News

An ICJ delegation will visit Swaziland from 12-20 January to gather information on the functioning of the judiciary and legal profession.

The ICJ is particularly concerned by a recent Government decision to disregard two rulings of the Court of Appeal. In protest, six South African judges of the Appeal Court resigned.

Swazi officials justified their defiance of the judiciary by alleging that judges of the Court of Appeal “have been influenced by forces outside the [Swazi] system and have not acted independently.”

The ICJ mission will examine the relationship between the monarchy and the judiciary in Swaziland, as provided under law, and as demonstrated through practice. The mission team will seek to meet with the King, Government officials, members of the judiciary, lawyers, parliamentarians, academics and other members of civil society in order to undertake a full and fair evaluation of the state of judges and lawyers. The ICJ will publish a report containing its findings and recommendations to the Government.

The ICJ delegation is composed of three international experts: Justice George Kanyeihamba of the Supreme Court of Uganda; Professor Michelo Hansungule, a Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor at the University of Pretoria, Centre for Human Rights; and Professor Edward Ratushny of the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and President of ICJ-Canada. The Rapporteur will be Edwin Berry, Legal Officer, ICJ Secretariat.

The ICJ will be undertaking some of its mission activities in tandem with the International Bar Association (IBA) which will also will be conducting a mission in Swaziland.

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