Select Page

Namibia endorses Commonwealth measures to improve access to justice

Namibia endorses Commonwealth measures to improve access to justice

By Michel Haoses

Last week, Namibia participated in the Commonwealth Meeting of Law Ministers and Senior Officials held in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Representing Namibia at the gathering was the Minister of Justice, Hon. Yvonne Dausab.

The meeting, spanning from 4 to 8 March, brought together representatives from 32 member countries. Among them, Namibia joined in endorsing a new set of measures aimed at enhancing people’s access to justice.

These measures emerged from four days of deliberations, incorporating input from various stakeholders including people with disabilities, civil society representatives, and leading innovators in the legal sector.

As a result, law ministers have committed to intensifying efforts to dismantle barriers obstructing access to justice and addressing the legal needs of all citizens. Key provisions include enhanced access to justice for people with disabilities, the formulation of a model on virtual assets, a new action plan to combat online violence against women, and proposals to eliminate gender-discriminatory legislation.

Ministers welcomed new Commonwealth legal resources, including a mediation guide, a small claims court app for dispute resolution, and a database for cooperation on criminal matters. Additionally, they adopted Commonwealth guidelines on the treatment of electronic evidence in criminal proceedings, providing member countries with a framework to develop national legislation.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, presented papers on several topics in the field of energy and extractives, including a carbon tax model law and an oil and gas decommissioning guide. These initiatives leverage legislation to tackle climate change and ensure a just transition.

Scotland KC emphasized the critical nature of these measures, noting that two-thirds of the world’s population lack meaningful access to justice.

Moreover, ministers commended the Secretariat for its tech-driven justice solutions and its efforts in artificial intelligence, recognizing them as vital interventions in improving access to legal information and transforming justice delivery in today’s complex world.


About The Author


The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.