Kessl. A New Jurisprudence of Land Reform in Namibia?

April 2008
Sidney L. Harring and Willem Odendaal (Legal Assistance Centre Land, Environment and Development Project and Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit)

Includes the legal process of land reform in Namibia; the framing of the Kessl case; Article 16 and land expropriation; Article 18 on administrative justice; a new jurisprudence of land reform in Namibia? The case repeatedly upholds the legality of the principle of land expropriation, but finds that the Ministry’s administration of it has violated Namibian law on several grounds. The judgement undermines the Government’s credibility in terms of its ability to plan and manage its own land reform programme. This opinion charts the way to a new Namibian jurisprudence that can break the deadlock on land reform, moving the process forward with full commitment to the rule of law and is highly significant for the future of land reform in Namibia and Southern Africa generally.