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Hot From The Bench

This is a free critical analysis on current legal issues. It can either be a thematic analysis of a topic while referencing relevant cases or analysis of certain authoritative or jurisprudence making cases decided by various courts in the Eastern African region.

»Exemplary Damages in Libel
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this Hot From the Bench, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama takes a look at the issue of exemplary damages for libel. He discovers that the legal issue has been quite dynamic in England these past 40 years. With Biwott v Clays Ltd, Kenyan courts awoke to the developments of the English law of libel.
»Attestation of Affidavits. What is the Law?
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
Shaffiq Dar of Mohammed Madhani & Co. Advocates guides us through a minefield of recent judicial pronouncements that have left practitioners pondering on the status of the law.
»Termination of Employment Law put on the dock
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
The Recent decision of Mukiite v Barclays Bank of Kenya provids the perfect opportunity to muse over the law of summary dismissal/ termination. In inviting us to a blow by blow account of the developments in this area of law, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama asserts that one cannot help sympathizing with the long serving employee who wakes up one morning to find herself/ himself summarily and even callously out on the street. Yet on the other hand the freedom to contract must he held sacrosant. Is the protection granted by the law to such an employee adequate or is the deep pocket employer invariably getting away with it?
»The East African Community Kicks Into The Reality of Today's Court Practice
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this edition of Hot From The Bench, LawAfrica's Augustine Mwanzia & Charles Kanjama cast the spotlight on a recent decision of the Uganda High Court Commercial Division which potentially carries great importance for the development of the law relating to the East African Community.
»Court of Appeal Revises The Law of Corroboration in Rape Cases
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this edition of HTFB, LawAfrica's Augustine Mwanzia focusses on a recent Court of Appeal decision Mukungu v Republic (Selected for Publication in [2003] 2 EA but currently available to LLR Subscribers) which declared the requirement for corroboration in sexual offences affecting adult women and girls as unconstitutional to the extent that the requirement is against them as women or girls i.e. its discriminatory (section 82 of the Constitution).
»Matrimonial Property
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
Following a recent decision of the High Court of Kenya in Mbugua v Mbugua, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama take us through a myriad of cases touching on sec. 17 of the Married Womens Property Act (1882)
»Technical Justice
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this Hot From the Bench, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama takes a critical look at Rule 85 of the Court of Appeal Rules. Leveraging a vast database of decisions, He sums up by stating that the local courts have been painfully resolute in their interpretation of rule 85 of the Court of Appeal Rules with the result that Appeals daily continue to succumb in the already overflowing graveyard of struck out appeals. The cases referred to in this write-up are available to LawAfrica Law Reports on
»HIV Aids and the Law in Kenya
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this week’s HFTB, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama looks at various litigation from around the world on issues surrounding HIV/ AIDS. This time, he looks through the LLR database, the Butterworths/ LawAfrica ALL ER CD-Rom and our in-house set of ALL South Africa Law Reports on CD-Rom. He concludes that Matrimonial causes, personal injury claims and breach of confidence are some of the areas where the HIV/AIDS issue is already developing the law.
»Banker/ Customer Relationship
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this week’s Hot From The Bench, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanajama analyses Justice Visram’s latest decision. He sees it as a refreshing 60 page peek into a fascinating area of law : the banker–client relationship. It is an attempt to reconcile the banker’s duty of care to the owner of a cheque with its duty of confidentiality to its client. The case extends the banker’s duty to its client to include a duty to a signatory of an account who the bank should reasonably foresee would be affected by its actions.
»Law of Succession; Updates
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
Below are some interesting Succession Law cases from various courts around the country. These decisions were reached within the past year and are all available to subscribers of Lawafrica Law Reports on
»Res Judicata
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this Hot From The Bench, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama looks at the question of whether and how much the doctrine of res judicata, which forms part of the wider principles of estoppel, applies in interlocutory applications is becoming ever more a puzzling matter for our courts. How exactly shall courts interpret the Court of Appeal decision in Uhuru Highway Development Ltd v Central Bank of Kenya?
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this weeks Hot From The Bench, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama looks at a recent decision by Justice Ringera in Showind Industries and Guardian Bank and its impact on the law relating to receiverships. We have previously looked at receivership and we feel that the Showind case has attracted attention back to the contentious issues surrounding exercise of the power to appoint a receiver under a company debenture. The principles to be applied, especially in interlocutory applications, have once again been put into question. Subscibers will be able to view these cases on
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
The PTA Bank v Ogang case has continued to trouble the nascent COMESA Court. The court has already made a decisive ruling on its jurisdiction with respect to the PTA Bank charter and apparent conflict with the COMESA Treaty. In the latest decision, the court tackles allegations of apparent bias made against some of its members. It is an absorbing decision, but it pushes further into the future the prospect of an eventual conclusion to this
»The Limitatation of Actions
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
The Court of Appeal in Shire v Thabiti Finance has given a decisive interpretation to the troubling issue of whether an acknowledgement or part payment can revive a statute-barred debt. In this week’s Hot From the Bench, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama casts a positive look at the law of Limitations. Cases are available to subscribers to LawAfrica Law Reports:
»Adverse Possession
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this months Hot From the Bench LawAfricas Charles Kanjama looks at the law of Adverse Possession and its application in Land Law today. Subscribers to LawAfrica Law Reports will be able to access the decisions cited below on
»General Damages
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this week’s Hot from the Bench, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama looks at the circumstances where general damages are awardable in breach of contract scenarios. He concludes that the local courts have not lucidly and coherently handled the issue of general damages for breach of contract.
»Judicial Bias
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this Hot from the Bench commentary, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama addresses the sensitive issues sorrounding allegations of judicial bias by Advocates.
»Mistake by an Advocate
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
It’s a tough question, but one that must be examined. LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama studies the authorities and poses this question: In what circumstances should the Client suffer for his Advocate’s Mistakes?
»he Unqualified Advocate
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
The Ruling by Mulwa J in Njagi v Kihara [2000] LLR 1698 (HCK) allows us to mull over the question of the validity or otherwise of proceedings brought by an unqualified advocate. In this week’s Hot From The Bench, LawAfrica’s Charles Kanjama poses the question “Should an advocate’s mistake be visited on his innocent client”?
»The Right of Review
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
When one searches for Review decisions in LawAfrica Law Reports, on notices that the number of applications for review being dismissed in the Milimani Commercial Courts has risen exponentially these last two years. In this weeks Hot From The Bench LawAfricas Charles Kanjama takes a closer look at Order 44 and the right of review to determine when it arises and what are its chances of success.
»Mortgages and Charges
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
In this weeks Hot From The Bench, LawAfricas Charles Kanjama tackles the law relating to Statutory Power of Sale with his usual ake no prisoners attitude. The length of the result (which we apologise for) is the product of a 23 case analysis. Admittedly the single most litigated point of law, the Lawafrica database continues to receive precedents that reflect the confusion in this important area of law. All these cases are available on to subscribers of LawAfrica Law Reports.
»Environmental and Public Interest Litigation Gathers Pace in Uganda
Date: Tue 5 Oct 2010
A tag team of LawAfricas Charles Kanjama & Maina Waweru, invite us to take a brief look at three new decisions of the High Court of Uganda relating to Section 39 of the Constitution of Uganda and the enforcement of the right to a clean and healthy environment.


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