Trailblazing Dingake in US residency, tour


Former High Court Judge Dr Key Dingake will wind up his academic tour of the United States of America (USA) when he gives a public lecture in Los Angles as a William L. Beatty Jurist in Residence.

Dingake will be in residence at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Law the last week of January through the first week of February 2019. 

He will give a public lecture, ‘Appointment of Judges and the Threat to Judicial Independence: Case Studies from Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, and Kenya’, on January 29, 2019.   Dingake continues to hoist the Botswana flag high, as he will be the first African or non-American to be the William L. Beatty Jurist in Residence.

According to the SIU website, the programme is one of three of the law school created from proceeds received in 2004 from the settlement of a multi-million dollar national class action consumer protection lawsuit.

It states in 2004, the law school received $425,000 in unclaimed funds from a 2001 settlement reached in the Southern District of Illinois in a case involving MCI and rates for direct-dialled long distance telephone calls. 

MCI did not admit liability in the settlement, which totalled $88 million, with $10 million returning to MCI.  In class action lawsuits, courts distribute unclaimed funds in a manner consistent with the basis for the lawsuit. Dingake, who is now Justice of the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea, has served as a judge for more than a decade.

In that time, he has sat on the High Court of Botswana, the Industrial Court of Botswana, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea.

Prior to joining the bench, he was a lecturer at the University of Botswana, teaching in the areas of constitutional law, human rights law, legal practice, employment law, administrative law, and commercial law.

Justice Dingake was also a senior partner with the firm of Moupo, Motswagole, and Dingake, specialising in administrative, constitutional, and labour laws.

He has published on the role of the judiciary in protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and has been actively involved in judicial leadership efforts related to HIV and health.   He has an LLB from the University of Botswana, an LLM from the University of London, and a PhD from the University of Cape Town.

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