Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

"The objects of the LRDC shall be to undertake research in connection with and examine all branches of the law of Namibia and to make recommendations for the reform and development thereof"

The LRDC in Usakos talking to the law, justice and gender based violence. Let us rise, resist and unite against GBV.

The 2018-2021 Law Reform and Development Commission appointed.
In the back row from left to right: Mr H Gerdes( Law Society of Namibia), Ms S Mezui-Engo Nangolo ( expertise finance investment, GIPF), Ms F /Goagoses ( Chief: Legislative Drafter, Ministry of Justice), Ms A Zender ( UNAM: Faculty of Law), Mr E Joshua ( Namibia Law Association).
Seated in front row: Mr J Walters ( Ombudsman: ex officio), Ms Y Dausab ( current Chairperson).

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

The LRDC is currently in Swakopmund. Consulting our stakeholders on the review of insolvency act, 1936. There are over 15 institutions represented including the judiciary and Insol Africa. A 364 pages of the bill to be discussed. Public consultations are a constitutional imperative and it sets us apart.

The current Commission of Law Reform and Development of Namibia's term has come to an end. A new one after consultation with the Minister of Justice will soon be appointed by the President of the Republic of Namibia.

On 3 August 2015, the President of the Republic of Namibia, appointed 6 people to be members of the Law Reform and Development Commission. They were drawn from the Law Society of Namibia, the Namibia Law Association(NLA), UNAM faculty of law, Ministry of Justice( Legislative Drafting), and Office of the Ombudsman. During this period the Commission examined existing legislation and undertook research in issues pertaining to torture, disability, divorce, red line marriages, NEEEF, laws impeding development, road safety, insolvency, customary marriages, cyber laws and administrative justice. The term of this Commission has ended. We had our last meeting on 1 August 2018. A new Commission will be appointed soon and the great work they started will continue. Thank you for your service to the nation

The LRDC Is part of an important stakeholder workshop on disability rights. The need for Reform and Development of the legislative and policy framework that enhances protection of persons with disabilities is being discussed. There is need to accelerate the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in tandem with the needs and wants within the Namibian context.

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

We have not posted in awhile but our work continues. The LRDC is looking forward to the next phase of NEEEF. Revision of the bill and additional public consultations are envisaged. We also scheduled to report progress on the laws prohibiting development project under year 2 of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Our annual report will also soon be submitted to the Minister of Justice and through him to the national assembly to note our activities. Our namiblii.org is in place and we intend to make regular updates and improvements to ensure we make law more readily accessible. Changes to the divorce law and the redline marriages proposals are at an advance stage. Our prevention and combating of torture bill is scheduled for parliament this term. Other equally important projects are: disability rights, administrative justice, road safety management and obsolete laws.

We have since also since interacted with Cabinet on NEEEF. Attended meeting with the regional network of law reformers. We launched a book. So our supportive role in various capacities continue. Our mandate is unparalled so our commitment despite the economic challenges must continue.

The LRDC as part of our 25 year celebration launched a book.

The work of the LRDC continues. We understand the law reform process is slow and results and impact are not immediately visible. We want to do more and see more of our laws published. Public understanding of our work and process is going to be important and we plan to increase our interaction with the public through a portal of engagement that can track our work progress. For now suffices it to say the NEEEF project, Insolvency, disability rights redline marriages and divorce is at the forefront. We also continue to provide scope for our Namibian and international interns.

The Namibia Law Reform and Development Commission is an EXCO member of the Association of Law Reform Agencies of East and Southern Africa (ALRAESA). On invitation of the Law Reform Commission of Mauritius we attended a conference on ' the contribution of Law Reform to Development'. The Namibia LRDC presented a paper on ' Gender Based Violence and our role in the reform and Development of our current Domestic Violence legislation. Our work in this area was well received by other agencies present at the conference. The meeting reaffirmed our commitment to use our core mandate as law reformers to enhance social justice.

Here are some pictures from that event held from 28-30 June 2017. The Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission of Mauritius and the South African, Namibian, Malawian, Ugandan and Zanzibar Chairpersons were all in attendance.

The Law Reform and Development Commission partipated in the public hearings conducted by the Ombudsman on racism and racial discrimination. This is an important conversation. It is clear that the racial outbursts that we continue to see, the ethnic tensions that seem to escalate and the glaring socio-economic inequalities that disproportionately affect previously disadvantaged Namibians cannot continue unabated. This platform creates a unique opportunity for Namibians to honestly talk about apartheid and it's effects.

The LRDC located its contribution within the disability, laws prohibiting development and NEEEF projects. The team consisting of Charles, Mutindi and Ruusa did a great job of responding candidly following their presentation. We were open and brave in our analysis of race relations and ethnic tensions that seem to rear their ugly heads. But let's talk

In the end, we are all human beings. We are Namibians. Let's care and respect each other as a collective. One Namibia . One Nation.

I am proud of my team. Well done.

The Commision met twice this month and on the agenda was red line marriages, divorce and NEEEF bills. They all not easy conversations. But the bottom line is we want to use law reform as a tool of transformation. Our sacred methodology to consult the public is a catalyst. The law reform and development commission is committed to support the Head of State in his quest for poverty eradication, prosperity and a nation that lives in peace and harmony.

What is effective law reform and how do we as law reform agencies maintain independence, credibly and survival in an environment where alot depend on other actors in taking the process forward. 16 countries of the common wealth met in the lovely Australian city of Melbourne to exchange views on these and other important questions of law reform. Notable for me was the debate on ' whether sitting judges should lead law reform agencies'? These exchanges with judges, law reformers across the globe, academics, etc enriches debates and enhances our work. It was worthwhile spending two days hearing from and engaging with people who have been at this for in some instances 50 years +.

The LRDC recently celebrated 25 years since the 1991 statute governing the work of commission was passed. On 25 October 2016 we launched Namiblii to make legal material and the law more accessible. This is in tandem with our core mandate. 26 October 2016 we had a conference. Sharing views with academics and our foreign participants from East and Southern African law reform agencies. We also had partipants from the common wealth. It was an important time to reflect on the work of the Commission and how we should remain relevant.

Our public consultations on NEEEF and NEEEB since 18 July 2016 has been very useful. It has been reflective and in some instances opened difficult dialogue on race relations. It created opportunity between various groups what concerns, fears and worries them but also their hopes and expectations.there is need to look at the details and fine print of the draft and to carefully examine the proposals made in order to avoid any unintended consequences.

Remember good people the intention was never to give away free shares. It was not to beg business owners to give away control of their businesses.

The primary objective is to ensure equity among all Namibians particularly in relation to the economic activity of this country.Economic Advancement under pillar 2 of the Harambee Prosperity Plan calls on all Namibians to work towards this goal. Over the next few weeks and months the Office of the Prime Minister once the LRDC hands back a report on ' what the people are saying' will continue to undertake more work on this draft and we are confident that the concerns raised and the proposals made will be duly considered.

The LRDC continues to consult on NEEEB. We were in Otjiwarongo on Monday. Consulting the Erongo, Kunene and Otjozonjupa regions. Wednesday we were in Rundu to talk to rural communities, traditional authorities, persons with disabilities, business owners. We have heard the people. 26 years after independence our people are anxious about feeling excluded from mainstream economy. Previously Disadvantaged Namibians also want to be part of making decisions on ownership, management and human resource development in this country. It's Friday 29 July and we are at the Oshana Regional Council to talk to people in the 4 O regions.

We are consulting on NEEEB. The New Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill. It's not easy but we will get there because we want all Namibians to enjoy the fruits of this beautiful country. No one should feel left out. We must be business owners, managers and control the economy as a collective. This means we must all Harambee. The LRDC and OPM believe that with abit more work and further constructive conversation this law is a step in the right direction. We are in Mariental on Friday to talk to those in the Hardap and Karas regions. Come one come all.

[07/15/16]   Over the next three weeks the LRDC is undertaking additional broad based consultations on the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill (NEEEB) in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister.

Owing to circumstances beyond our control the initial dates that were announced in the media for the consultations have slightly changed.

The new dates are:

Wednesday, 20 July, Windhoek ( Khomasdal Regional Council Hall) for the Omaheke and Khomas region.
Friday, 22 July, Mariental (Pensioner Hall) for the //Karas and Hardap regions.
Monday, 25 July, Otjiwarongo (Paresis Show Hall) for the Erongo and Otjozonjupa regions.
Wednesday, 27 July, Rundu ( Kavango Regional Council) for Kavango East, West and Zambezi.
Friday, 29 July, Ongwediva( to be announced), Omusati, Ohangwena, Otjikoto Oshana regions.

All consultations will begin at 8:00. We invite the public at large, civil society, NGOs and other interested parties to come and make their contributions to this very important economic empowerment bill. We want to hear your views.

From the
Chairperson

[07/03/16]   The LRDC is an autonomous body that undertakes it's work through the support of directorate law reform which have been established as the secretariat of the LRDC. The administrative staff and the able team of researchers are an integral part of law reform and development in this country. The intend is to undertake our work with integrity, seriousness and soundness so that our consultations and reports are not questioned.

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

Photos from Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission's post

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission's cover photo

The Law Reform and Development Commission is currently leading a delegation at the UNCITRAL working group V on Insolvency. The team of four dynamic women which includes the Office of the Attorney General has sat in those meetings every day from 10:00 to 18:00 and are influencing the very engaging debates and discussion on how a model law on ' cross body insolvency ' will look like. The other distinguished delegates at this important working session have commended Namibia for its very incisive and engaging contributions during the sessions. To affirm their trust in us they nominated us to be the Rapporteur of this 49th session. This is an important achievement for us and resonates with pillar 5 on International Relations of our Harambee Prosperity Plan- we must be trusted and respected at these forums. The voice of Africans in general and Namibia in particular must be heard and taken seriously. And we certainly proud we making strides in the right direction.

The review and reform of the 1936 Insolvency Act is currently a project of the Commission and alot of work has been done so far. Our approach is to build on the great work done by previous Commissions and to ensure all efforts have a buy in and support of all interested parties including the BON, practitioners, office of the Master, etc. Well done Namibia.

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission's cover photo

The Road Safety Management bill is currently under discussion as a collaborative effort between the National Road Safety Council and the Law Reform and Development Commission with some support from GIZ.

The first of that process for this year was the key stakeholder consultation that we held on 11 April 2016. Many Namibians are anxious about the continued rise in road fatalities and we are aware that having the legal policy and institutional framework in place is an important milestone in enhancing road safety in this country.

But as the Minister of Works and Transport, honourable Alpheton !Naruseb said during his remarks " we need a mindset change". Arguably, law is important but it is not enough. We need to harness a culture of attitudinal change and good road behaviour. Of course factors such as road infrastructure, Driver testing etc plays just as important as role.
The discussions and inputs are ongoing atleast until the end of April before we decide on how to proceed.
The LRDC thanks all participants at the stakeholder consultation with their open frank and very engaging discussions. Know that we value your input and take yours concerns seriously.

Namibians we can change the road safety space in this country please: overtake only when it is safe to do so, don't drink and drive, don't speed. Think about every Namibian as your loved one.

Chairperson

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission's cover photo

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission

Namibia Law Reform & Development Commission's cover photo

The New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), Workshop.

Visuals from last week's (11/02/16) consultative meeting at the Safari Hotel, on the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), Bill. The Law Reform and Development Commmission was honoured to have been joined by the Right Hon Prime Minister who dilligintly attended to policy questions at the workshop.

Recently Namibia hosted an Exco meeting with the Association of Law Reform Agencies of Eastern and Southern Africa (ALRAESA).For those who do not know the current Attorney General of Nam Sacky Shanghala, who was the former Chairperson of LRDC, was equally the Chairperson of ALREASA. The African countries applauded him for a job well done on the regional and international level.Also, we congratulate Uganda for being elected at the EXCO as the next Chairperson of ALREASA.

Last friday at Hilton when the chairman of the LRDC officially handed the Insolvency project to the Deputy Minister of Justice.

Some visuals captured in Eenhana during the ongoing Family law and Related matters consultations. During this particular consultation an incident of polyandry was reported in this community! Sentiments expressed is that polygamy as is under customary marriages, negates gender equality. Considering possible similar future prospects and present incidences reported, one would ask if the time is not ripe to open the floor for discussions pertaining to possible legislation of polygamy (polygyny and polyandry) as it relates to customary marriages?

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