(500) ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN BOTSWANA: A SCOTS DISSENT
Scots Law News is grateful to its comparative public law correspondent Chris Himsworth for drawing attention to the recent decision of the Botswana Appeal Court upholding the lawfulness of the decision of the country’s President, Festus Mogae, to expel Kenneth Good, a professor of political science at the University of Botswana, without giving any reasons for doing so. There is a notable dissenting judgement by Lord Coulsfield, late of the Court of Session, who argued for the unconstitutionality of the Botswana immigration legislation which allowed a deportee such as Good to be denied any information about the reasons for the order against him, even where disclosure of the reasons could do no harm to the public interest. The majority, whose approach would be greatly preferred by the UK Government (and, Scots Law News suspects, the Scottish Ministers), held that the courts should not interfere with the powers of the much better informed executive in deciding whether someone was a threat to the national interest. It appears that Good’s main offence was writing and lecturing critically about President Mogae and his government.