Namibia: A Constitutional Crisis?

Published: 22/Juil/2016
Source: The Namibian

By Toni Hancox and Dianne Hubbard

THE NAMIBIAN Constitution is the supreme law of the country. All legislation and all government action must be consistent with the Constitution.

The President and all lawmakers take an oath to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution. The primacy of the Constitution is the very essence of a constitutional democracy.

This principle is made explicit in Article 4 of the Namibian Constitution on citizenship, which states that “parliament shall be entitled to make further laws not inconsistent with this Constitution regulating the acquisition or loss of Namibian citizenship”.

And yet, it seems that parliament is now attempting to ‘overrule’ the Constitution as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court.

On 23 June 2016, in the De Wilde case, the Supreme Court of Namibia made a ruling on the meaning of the term ‘ordinarily resident’ in Article 4(1). That Article provides that a child born in Namibia to non-Namibian citizens will be a Namibian citizen by birth if the child’s father or mother is ordinarily resident in Namibia at the time of the birth – with a few narrow exceptions, such as children born to diplomats of other countries who are stationed in Namibia.

Read further on The Namibian website.

Themes: Acquisition par les enfants
Regions: Namibie
Year: 2016