The current Chief Justice (CJ), Julian Nganunu, will very soon be dropped from his position of chief justice to serve at the Court of Appeal.
Currently Nganunu is Chief Justice of the High Court and he also sits on the court of appeal panel of judges.
The Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security is drafting an amendment to insulate the High Court from the Court of Appeal which will ensure that no judge sits on both the High Court bench and the Court of Appeal panel of judges.
The Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, said that, after they have amended the law, the chief justice will only hold one position at the Court of Appeal, which is the highest court in the country.
He said it is the best practice of law that the CJ holds one position.
When asked who will be appointed as the CJ, Seretse said,
“I am not the one who appoints the Chief Justice, therefore I do not know.”
Justice Ian Kirby is strongly tipped to replace Nganunu as Chief Justice.
A Law lecturer at the University of Botswana, Dr Tachilisa Balule, said that the law system of Botswana has been overtaken by events.
He said it is not inline with legal best practices for a Chief Justice to hold more than one position.
But, he said, if it were his responsibility, and in accordance with seniority, Justice Dibotelo should be the next CJ but conceded that the president is the one who appoints the CJ.
Meanwhile, if Kirby is appointed, he will be the third Motswana to become Chief Justice.
The first CJ was the late Moleleki Mokama who was succeeded by Nganunu.