Will Namibia’s election be free and fair?

Issue: Civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
Document Type: Fact Finding Mission
Date: 1989

In August 1989 Geoffrey Bindman, an English solicitor, was asked by the ICJ to attend the hearing of an application by the Legal Assistance Centre to the Supreme Court of Namibia.

The application sought to dismiss a challenge by the Government to the freedom of the Centre to represent litigants in proceedings alleging human rights abuses by the police and security forces.

As the application was decided quickly in favour of the Centre, Mr. Bindman spent the remainder of his time in Namibia looking into the role of the law in Namibia’s transitional period from being a dependency of South Africa to becoming an independent state.

He came to the conclusion that the dominant role of the South African-controlled Government endangers the prospect of a free and fair election. Accordingly,this document, in addition to being a report of the legal proceedings before the Supreme Court, recounts disturbing features of the run-up to the independence election which is due to be held in November 1989.

Namibia-free and fair elections-fact finding mission report-1989-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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