A Chronicle of How Judges Have Internalised International Law in Namibia





Namibia, international law, domestication, court cases, Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), monism, dualism, adjudication


Until recently, scholars had not detected the discrepancies in the international law jurisprudence in Namibia. Even the few jurists who spotted them did not reveal the precise extent of those inconsistencies. To demonstrate their sheer magnitude, this article chronicles the Namibian international law jurisprudence. In doing so, it offers the most detailed analysis of international law cases in Namibia. It presents that jurisprudence chronologically. This methodology ensures that readers understand how international law evolved in Namibia. And, to frame this inconsistency issue in a fashion that makes sense for developing countries, the article draws some insights from the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) movement. The article finds that judges zigzag between friendliness (ie, monism) and scepticism (ie, dualism) towards international law, and it uncovers four types of judges-interpreters, when considering the philosophies that motivate them. In addition to the monist and the dualist, the moralist and the constitutionalist have emerged. Nonetheless, this zigzagging and these inconsistencies undermine the rule of law—a foundational principle of the Namibian state. The article therefore discusses the four personae, hoping to inspire jurists and judges, in Namibia and other nations, to unify these different judicial personalities under one overarching rationale.



How to Cite

Zongwe, Dunia Prince. 2021. “A Chronicle of How Judges Have Internalised International Law in Namibia”. South African Yearbook of International Law 44 (April):46 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2521-2583/7750.



Received 2020-05-05
Accepted 2021-03-08
Published 2021-04-29