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[liberationtech] fyi

Lauren Gelman gelman at
Wed Jan 28 10:32:29 PST 2009

Namibian Justice Now on Internet - by John Ekongo

28 January 2009

WINDHOEK – As the Internet becomes widely acceptable globally,  
Namibia must grab the opportunities availed by the Internet to inform  
its citizens through the World Wide Web.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Justice in  
partnership with the University of Namibia Law Faculty and Stanford  
University, California, USA, pioneered a programme called “Open  
Access to Namibian Law”, a programme aimed at placing Namibian laws  
on the net and thus make it accessible to many people.

Justice Deputy Minister Utoni Nujoma said the Internet has become a  
part of everyday life for a lot of people and it must therefore be  
harnessed to ensure that Namibian laws are available over the Internet.

“Putting our laws on the Internet will help to bring Namibia into the  
world justice community,” Nujoma said when he delivered his opening  
remarks at the launch of the Open Access to Namibian Law Summit on  
Monday in the capital.

Nujoma opined that the summit will not only ensure that Namibian law  
is freely and openly available on the Internet, but also will go a  
long way in promoting the rule of law, while ensuring that every  
Namibian citizen becomes conversant with legal issues.

However, he appealed to stakeholders to consider the disadvantages  
without Internet connectivity.

“Communication forms the basis of individual and societal existence  
and should be managed in a manner that secures the fair, balanced and  
harmonious development of all people and with particular attention to  
the needs and aspirations of the most disadvantaged in our society.”

He added that it would be unfair to exclude members of society who  
have no access to the Internet.

“We should keep in mind that not all people have access to the  
Internet and thus we would fail them if we do not consider other  
means that will ensure that they too have access to Namibian laws,”  
added Nujoma.

The programme is funded by the US Government through its Windhoek  

Lauren Gelman
Executive Director
Center for Internet and Society
Lecturer in Law
Stanford Law School
(ph) 650-724-3358
gelman at

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