Thomson Reuters Law Libraries Sent to Namibia Supreme and High Courts

In 2017, at the request of the Namibian judiciary, the Federal Judiciary Center in DC made a capacity-development assessment trip to Namibia. From that trip came a collaboration between the Federal Judiciary Center, Thomson Reuters and the Books For Africa Law & Democracy Initiative which resulted in the 2019 shipment of a 40ft sea container to the Namibia Ministry of Education, with more than 35,000 books. 

Lane Ayres, Chief Justice Peter Shivute and Tom Leighton at Oshakati High Court CeremonyTom Leighton, a Vice President at Thomson Reuters Legal, raised funds to sponsor the shipment, which included two Thomson Reuters reference law libraries; for the Namibia Supreme Court in Windhoek and their High Court in Oshakati, near the Angola border. In addition to Thomson Reuters, support came from the National Center of State Courts and individuals. 

In September Tom Leighton and Lane Ayres, program director of Books For Africa's law book program, went to Namibia and participated in meetings and events with their Judiciary. The highlight of their visit was a "handing-over ceremony" in Oshakati organized by the Namibian Office of the Judiciary in appreciation for the law library donations. 

Mira Gur Arie, Federal Judiciary Center, Roland van Wyk, Permanent Secretary, Namibia Office of the Judiciary, and Tom Leighton, at IOJT conference in Cape TownChief Justice Peter Shivute spoke and his remarks included the following: "It gives me great pleasure to convey on behalf of the Namibian Judiciary, our profound gratitude for the donation in the form of law reference textbooks from Thomson Reuters, received through the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative of Books for Africa. A law library cannot fulfill these purposes if it is empty or not fully equipped with legal resources. We as the Judiciary do not have all these resources at our disposal. Thus, this noble gesture from our friends in the form of provision of legal textbooks will fill up the library with valuable reference materials."

At the conclusion of their Namibia trip Tom and Lane attended an International Organization for Judicial Training conference in Cape Town. More than 8000 books in the container are being distributed by Save the Rhino Trust, in collaboration with the Minnesota Zoo, to schools in the Namibia rhino preservation area.