6 February 2013

Tanzania: Legal System in Need of Make Over

Zanzibar — AS lawyers mark the 'Zanzibar's National Law Day' today, the Isles Chief Justice Omar Othman Makungu has said "most of the courts are in bad condition with insufficient space".

He said court personnel including magistrates and judges operate under difficult conditions and people charged at the courts are equally unhappy.

"We are now working out to improve our courts. This includes refurbishing, reconstruction, and construction of new buildings," Makungu said. He also said that Zanzibar judiciary needs to review its law of limited media coverage during court hearings. Currently the laws do not allow cameras, recordings, and live coverage; I think this is an outdated law."

The Chief Justice also said that there were weaknesses in prosecuting and that his office has to work with the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the police to improve prosecution procedures. The chief Justice expressed his concern over growing corruption allegations in the judiciary system, appealing to the public to reveal dishonest courts personnel including magistrates and judges.

Zanzibar is marking 'Law Day' with a renewed call for an end to Gender Based Violence (GBV) under the theme 'End Gender Violence.' The Chief Justice said that the theme was chosen to show that his office is committed to unite with other activists to end violence against women, girls, and children.

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