21 November 2012

Zambia: Expedite Law Reforms - PS

THE Ministry of Justice has urged the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) to expedite the law reform process.

Justice Permanent Secretary Patricia Jere said the review process involving mainly the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code should be expedited to streamline the criminal justice in the country.

Ms Jere said this in Lusaka yesterday during a consultative workshop on the project to review the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code organised by the ZLDC.

"I therefore urge the commission to hastily proceed with the review of the Criminal Procedure Code. Often law reforms focus more on the final product, than on the process before the laws are drafted. It is a mistake however to disregard the modalities of the law reform process as irrelevant," she said.

The reform process commenced in March last year, at a workshop was aimed at identifying and defining key problems of the two codes.

ZLDC had taken a new approach to reviewing the process, with the first focusing on the Penal Code, which had been divided into two sub-projects while the second phase focused on the Criminal Procedure Code.

Ms Jere implored key actors in the process that the exercise would be lopsided if there would not be critical input in the criminal justice sector.

"I wish to affirm that reforming the criminal law is a time consuming, intensive and laborious process requiring institutions and individuals with the requisite skills, expertise and resources," Ms Jere said.

ZLDC director Annette Nhekahiro said the workshop was a technical exercise designed to validate the recommendations from the process.

She said the workshop would focus on ensuring that all views and recommendations that had been submitted during the provincial workshops were taken on board.

The focus of the workshop was to validate data collected from previous workshops conducted in Livingstone, Kitwe and Lusaka.

She said the active participation and input of all members would determine the success, relevance and ultimate result of the project's benefit to the nation.

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