Botswana: No Court Hearings During Lockdown Except Urgent Ones

Judge's gavel.

Gaborone — With effect from August 3, there were no court hearings except for urgent applications.

A news release from the Administration of Justice says as a result of the Greater Gaborone lockdown, which commenced on July 31 no applications shall be entertained, unless the duty judge or magistrate confirms the urgency of such a case.

It says urgent applications shall include, but not limited to, bail applications, first appearances in serious criminal cases (offences punishable with imprisonment for three years or above), any case involving domestic violence under the Domestic Violence Act, No.10 of 2008, garnishee applications for maintenance of minors and deserted spouses as well as payments of maintenance for minors under the Guardian Fund.

It says registrars, magistrates, judges of the high court and Justices of Appeal shall work from home, but shall be on call to deal with urgent matters.

The release further says the necessary support staff shall also be on call during the lockdown, adding that except where necessary, every employee of the Administration of Justice shall work from home at their duty stations.

The release also says each station shall prominently display a notice informing the public of the contact number of the duty officer on call.

It says there shall be a Registrar or Clerk of Court, with necessary support staff on duty at each division or station during office hours for the duration of the lockdown, for the purpose of registration of process in addition to their usual duties.

Registrars dealing with default judgements will be expected to carry on with their pending filed matters from home, while court reporters with pending records for the transcription will be expected to work on those records from home, where practicable, the release says.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

More From: Botswana Daily News

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