Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Behave Professionally, Advocates Told

THREE newly established regions in the country -- Geita, Simiyu and Katavi -- have no local based advocates, it has been revealed.

Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman said this during a ceremony lined up to award new advocates at the Law School in Dar es Salaam. A total of 618 advocates were admitted, ready to start providing legal services as recognized advocates in the country.

Mr Chande noted that there were recurring limitations in legal representation in Tanzania unlike many other jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, and that the existing national population does not correspond with the number of advocates.

"Our country's population is presently pegged at about 45 million people. We now have only about 3,000 advocates. Our estimation is that there might be less than 1,000 advocates in full time practice," he said.

The CJ noted that it was sad that the number of advocates was geographically balanced as Geita, Simiyu and Katavi regions did not have advocates. In his speech, The Chief Justice noted that 70 per cent of all full-time legal practitioners are based in Dar es Salaam.

He mentioned Lindi which has one advocate, Kigoma with two, Mara with four and Rukwa specifically Sumbawanga, which has two. He further said that only five advocates appear before courts of law in Njombe Region.

He made a call on the new advocates in the field to perform their duties responsibly and diligently in accordance with the requirements of the professional code of conduct. The Attorney General, Judge Frederick Werema, insisted that advocates should respect all professional ethics.

He noted that there are people who have already been relieved of their duties due to unethical misconduct. "It's a bad thing for an advocate to be dismissed over corrupt behaviour because this means that he or she will never be an advocate in future.

So, those of you who have opted to join this field must follow all professional principles," he advised. The AG added that young advocates must make sure they separate their street life when they are in courts of law and behave like professionals.

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