Namibia

English

Namibia became independent from South Africa on 21 March 1990. South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during the first World War (1914-1918) and administered it as a mandate until after the second World War (1939-1945), when it annexed the territory. In 1988 South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan.

Namibia has a mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law.

Namibia has a constitution dating from 1990 which has provisions providing that no person should be subject to arbitrary arrest and detention; that all persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty; and that no persons shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The laws of Namibia are available online here.

French

La Namibie a acquit son indépendance de l'Afrique du Sud le 21 Mars 1990. L'Afrique du Sud a occupé cette colonie allemande du Sud-Ouest africain pendant la première guerre mondiale (1914-1918) et l’a administré comme mandat jusqu’à la fin de la deuxième guerre mondiale (1939-1945), lorsqu'elle annexa ce territoire. En 1988, l'Afrique du Sud accepta de mettre fin à son administration, conformément à un plan de paix de l'ONU.

La Namibie dispose d’un système judiciaire mixte de droit civil non codifié, fondé sur le droit romano-hollandais et sur le droit coutumier.

La Constitution de la Namibie date de 1990, et comporte des dispositions prévoyant que nul ne devrait faire l'objet d'arrestation et détention arbitraire; que toute personne accusée d'un crime est présumée innocente jusqu'à preuve du contraire ; et que nul ne peut être soumis à la torture ou à des traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants.

Les lois de la Namibie sont disponibles en ligne ici.

Portuguese

A Namíbia se tornou independente da África do Sul em 21 de Março de 1990. A África do Sul ocupou a colônia alemã do Sudoeste da África, durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial (1914-1918) e administrou-a como um mandato até depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial (1939-1945), quando anexou o território. Em 1988, a África do Sul concordou em terminar com a sua administração, de acordo com um plano de paz das NU.

A Namíbia tem um sistema jurídico misto de direito civil não codificado com base no direito romano-holandês e de direito consuetudinário.

A Namíbia tem uma Constituição que data de 1990, com disposições que preveem que nenhuma pessoa deve ser sujeita a prisão e detenção arbitrárias; que todas as pessoas acusadas de um crime devem ser presumidos inocentes até provar o contrário; e ninguém pode ser sujeito a tortura, nem a tratamento ou pena cruel, desumano ou degradante.

As leis da Namíbia estão disponíveis online aqui.

Conditions of Police Cells in Namibia
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2008

This report written by University of Namibia academics discusses the distinction between police cells and holding cells, and the conditions of police cells in terms of Namibia's legal obligations.

US Department of State Human Rights Report: Namibia 2012
Author: Suraj
Published: Mar 22, 2013

"Lengthy pretrial detention remained a significant problem. In 2010 approximately 8 percent of the general prison population was awaiting trial. At Windhoek’s main prison, prison officials estimated that figure to be closer to 20 percent during the year. The lack of qualified magistrates and other court officials, high cost to the government of providing legal aid, slow or incomplete police investigations, and continued postponement of cases resulted in a serious backlog of criminal cases and delays of years between arrest and trial. During the year the High Court and Prosecutor-General’s Office continued to implement proposals made in 2010 to improve the pace of administering justice, including granting increased case management powers to judges."

Protecting the right to personal liberty in Namibia: Constitutional, delictual and comparative perspectives
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 01, 2014

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 14 No 2 2014. Although the recent Supreme Court of Namibia cases of Alexander v Minister of Home Affairs & Others and Gawanas v Government of the Republic of Namibia were not merely decided under the Criminal Procedure Act 1977 (Namibia), but in terms of special statutes, namely, the Extradition Act 11 of 1996 and the Mental Health Act 18 of 1973 respectively, they nonetheless involved the determination by the Court of the individual right to personal liberty in terms of article 7 of the Constitution of Namibia of 1990, thus bringing the Court face to face with balancing the right to personal liberty against the public interest in the enforcement of the law. Alexander could properly be described as consisting of two parts: the trial judge’s treatment of the limitation clause in the Namibian Constitution, which survived on appeal, and the Supreme Court judgment which turned on the problem of granting bail in the circumstances of extradition proceedings. While Gawanas is a classic illustration of bureaucratic negligence, both cases involve the protection of personal liberty of the individual as against legislative interference and infringement by the agents of state. The lesson emerging therefrom is that the protection of personal liberty under the Namibian Constitution extends to persons, to citizens, foreigners within Namibia and to someone with some form of disability. The other lesson emanating from this study is that a person whose right to personal liberty or dignity has been infringed can ventilate that breach by way of judicial review, contesting the legality of the law or under the principles of administrative justice in the Constitution or the law of delict, alleging wrongfulness, fault and damage.

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