Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — The government has called for the need to look into the imbalances in the availability of advocates saying it denies Tanzanians access to legal services.
Speaking during the 47th graduation ceremony that admits legal professionals into the role of advocates at the school of Law in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman said that there was need for the government to take tactical measures to address the shortage of advocates.
The Chief Justice stressed there were only 3,000 enrolled advocates with a population of over 42 million according to the 2002 population census, a thing which needs to be looked into if the country is to move forward by making sure that cases are resolved in time.
He said only 618 enrollments were done this year, which made the number to about 901.
Chande stressed, these were very few as total number of advocates that has so far been enrolled this year alone compared to the increased country's population.
"There is need to improve this number of enrollment and make sure that no one is allowed to practice the role of an advocate unless he passes through the school of law where his /her abilities on legal affairs can be assessed" the Chief Justice said.He said it was unwise to think that only a number of Tanzanians should have an access to legal services due to lack of advocates.
The Chief Justice also noted that while the country has so far registered about 3,000 advocates countrywide, there were only less than 1,000 advocates in full-time practice offering legal representation on a day-to-day basis.
"About 70 percent of these 1,000 full-time legal practitioners are based in Dar es Salaam alone where as the rest are found in rural areas with a large population where legal issues are needed the most" the Chief Justice insisted.Chande noted there were a lot of regions in the country with a presence of a single advocate like Lindi region to the South-east of Tanzania with a population of 791, 306 according to 2002 national population Census and Kigoma located in the northern part of Tanzania with 1,679,109 residents which he said was unfair for the residents in the region.On his part, Tanzania Attorney General Frederick Werema stressed for the need to make sure that all lawyers in need of becoming advocates should pass through the law school in order to sharpen their professionalism and assess their knowledge of legal affairs.
The Attorney General noted that there is need to have a discussion with stake holders about whether or not it should be compulsory for law practitioners to pass through a law school.
This is due to the high costs involved while stressing that unless a legal practitioner undergoes the law school can be employed by the government as an advocate and or a magistrate.