MESSAGE BY THE JUDGE PRESIDENT
I am pleased to be associated with the launch of a dedicated website for the Superior Courts of Namibia by the University of Namibia . This is indeed historic: For the first time judgments of the Namibian High Court will be available on the web to all those interested in Namibian democracy and how it functions. I wish to assure the public that the High Court is there to ensure impartial and competent resolution of all disputes that come before the Court. The High Court of Namibia has jurisdiction to hear all civil and criminal matters. It also exercises admiralty jurisdiction and serves as a Labour Court; and is, ordinarily, the Court of first instance in constitutional matters.
The High Court is the hub of Namibia 's Court system: It hears and determines appeals from the Lower Courts and appeals lie from its decisions to the Supreme Court (headed by the Chief Justice) which is the nation's apex Court. The High Court of Namibia comprises the Judge President and as many Judges appointed by the President of the Republic on the recommendation of an independent Judicial Service Commission. The Judge- President, being primus inter pares (first amongst equals), organizes and oversees the work of the Court and, as a Judge, has no greater powers than the other Judges of the Court.
Namibian Courts boast a proud tradition of fearless independence and the public must feel confident about seeking redress before the High Court.
Our commitment to the public is that we will continue to make every effort to ensure that the waiting time for trial or hearing dates is significantly reduced. The new enrolment and case management system goes a long way towards achieving that goal. I wish to assure the public that the work of the Court is organized in such a way that, except in part-heard matters and very exceptional cases where it is not possible in good time to have a matter reassigned, no person will be turned away from the Court on a pre-assigned date because the Judge put in charge of the case is not available.
As head of this Court I am alive to the frustrations of litigants to receive the Court's judgment within a reasonable time after a matter is concluded: The waiting time for receiving reserved judgments is therefore being continually addressed.
I wish to thank the Legal Practitioners' Fidelity Fund and the Legal Practitioners' Trust for their financial contributions towards the realization of the website.
Welcome to the Court for all people.
Petrus T. Damaseb