JSC promises transparency in PG appointment

With the term of the current Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa coming to an end this year, the JSC recently advertised the position.

12 October 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) says it has taken a principled decision to review the appointment of the Prosecutor-General (PG) and open up the process to introduce greater transparency in how it is done.

With the term of the current PG Martha Imalwa coming to an end this year, the JSC recently advertised the position.

According to a statement issued by the Office of the Judiciary, the JSC received queries relating to the qualification requirements expected from applicants following the advertisement for a PG.



Nominations

The JSC said at that time, nominations were primarily received from the executive branch for consideration of the nominee's suitability, with a view to recommend possible appointment.

“The JSC has in the recent past taken a principled decision to review this practice and has decided to open up the process.”

It is in this context that the JSC has invited suitably qualified and experienced persons to submit their applications for consideration.



Legal Practitioners Act

As a deputy PG responsible for the northern regions, Imalwa benefitted from amendments made to the Legal Practitioners Act in 2002.

At that time, the law was changed to allow prosecutors and magistrates with a minimum of five years' working experience to qualify for admission as legal practitioners in the High Court without going through the normal process of attending the Justice Training Centre and completing 900 hours of attachment for nine months under the supervision of an admitted lawyer.

To become PG, a candidate should be admitted as a legal practitioner in the High Court.

“The amendment effected to the Legal Practitioners' Act, Act 15 of 1995 in 2002, regarding admission of lawyers employed in the public service as legal practitioners of the High Court of Namibia was litigated in court and the court has pronounced itself on the matter. The amendment was found to be valid and is still part of the law of general application,” the JSC said.



Requirements

The advertisement stated that applicants must hold qualifications that entitle them to practice in all Namibian courts.

They are required to have at least 15 years of admission as a legal practitioner, a proven track record of being able to act with integrity and impartiality as well as to have knowledge of Namibia's socio-economic context and government programmes. Experience in criminal litigation or in the field of criminal justice is also required and a breadth of legal knowledge, particularly in areas that interface with criminal law. Applications must be submitted no later than 16 October.

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