May 15, 2018
The Africa Judges and Jurists Forum (AJJF) and the ICJ today called on the authorities in Lesotho to guarantee the independence of the judiciary and to immediately take all legal and administrative measures necessary to make the Court of Appeal function independently and impartially.
The call came as the AJJF and ICJ concluded a 5-day Fact Finding Mission to Lesotho (7-12 May 2018).
The mission emphasized the importance of the Lesotho authorities ensuring that the constitutional and legal framework on the selection, appointment and tenure of judges and the actual practices conform to the international obligations of Lesotho pursuant the international human rights treaties to which it is party, as well as other applicable international standards.
“During our mission we were troubled to discovered that the Court of Appeal has not sat in the past two of its scheduled sessions and with the current impasse we are concerned that it may not convene anytime soon,” said Retired Chief Justice Othman Chande of Tanzania who led the AJJF/ICJ mission.
“We also found that the Prime Minister had initiated a process that may result in the impeachment of the Chief Justice under controversial circumstances,” he added.