Although he fell short of naming names, the Attorney General (AG) of Botswana, Abraham Keetshabe has thrown shade at ‘certain’ judges in the judiciary.
Speaking at the official opening of the legal year this week, Keetshabe said the AG has noted a worrying trend of the same judges presiding over certain types of cases.
“My Lord the Honourable Chief Justice, I wish to humbly bring to your attention a challenge that we are beginning to experience and that is quite unpalatable in the litigation space.
“There is a very unusual and strange pattern of some types of cases being allocated only to certain judges. I urge the judiciary to consider coming up with a way of discouraging this undesirable practice,” was Keetshabe’s slightly cryptic request.
His counterpart, the Chairman of the Law Society, Tshekiso Tshekiso accused the Chief Justice, Terrence Rannowane of exercising powers beyond his means.
“In the past year, we have seen an outcry from various sectors of the public, and some litigants, over the appointment by the Chief Justice to adjudicate over cases he considers to be of such public importance to warrant the empanelment of more than one judge.
“The controversial and ugly concept of ‘judge shopping’ reared its head again, as it did in the past. The Society takes the view that the law as it stands does not empower the Chief Justice to hand pick judges to adjudicate over any matter,” maintained Tshekiso.