Cyber case attacks international lawyers
By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) has asked for the permission of the Lusaka High Court to attend as an impartial advisor proceedings in a matter where five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have petitioned the High Court alleging that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act threatens the right to privacy and the freedom of the press.
ISLP early this month filed an application in the Lusaka High Court for amicus curiae. According to Wikipedia, an amicus curiae is someone who is not a party to a case who assists the court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case. The phrase amicus curiae is a legal Latin phrase meaning ‘friend of the court’.
In this matter, the NGOs also allege that the Act seeks to facilitate wide scale and interception of private communications with insufficient safeguards for constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms.
Chapter One Foundation limited, Bloggers of Zambia limited, Alliance for Community Action, Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research Services (GEARS) Initiative and People’s Action for Accountability and Good Governance in Zambia cited Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions as respondents in the matter.
According to summons for leave to attend the proceedings as amicus curiae (friend of the court), ISLP, a non-profit organization states that its interest in the cases is because it raises constitutional issues of public importance .
Ms Bridget Takudzwa Mafusire, a Zimbabwean and the Regional Legal Advisor for ISLP stated that the organisation was founded in 2000 whose expertise is in the field of media and consists of over 2000 experienced lawyer-volunteers.
She stated that the organization’s mission was to advocate for human rights, the rule of law, and just, sustainable , inclusive ,and accountable development.
She stated that the respondents would not be prejudiced if ISLP is admitted to the proceedings
“In conclusion, your ladyship, we submit that the applicant be allowed to attend these proceedings as an amicus curiae as its sole duty is to assist this honourable court in reaching a legal, pragmatic and legitimate decision to issues that are the subject of determination by this honourable court,” she contended.
The organization added that the respondents would not be prejudiced in any way.