MAJOR economic and political changes in the country require timely and professional justice delivery through the judiciary, it has been stated.
The emphasis was laid by Chief Justice (CJ) Prof Ibrahim Juma, immediately after swearing in new 71 Resident Magistrates at Karimjee Grounds in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
The new magistrates are among 142 who were employed by the judiciary recently after passing through interviews in various phases between September 14 and 26, 2020.
The Chief Justice thanked President Dr John Magufuli for sanctioning the recruitment of 100 magistrates. The Head of State issued the permit on the Law Day of 2020 and reminded the same on the Law Day of 2021.
"This is a good example of the empowerment that the Executive provides to the judiciary, especially at a time when employment in the public institution is very limited," said Prof. Juma.
The CJ urged the new magistrates to focus on good governance, accountability, which is part of the life of judicial officers and also to be responsible in the whole concept of good resource management and timely justice delivery, as a whole.
"We do not need money to provide timely justice delivery and focus on good governance, accountability and resource management. These are our DNA and part of our lives. When you are assigned a case you need to make sure that you are motivated by these concepts in resolving disputes," he said.
The head of judiciary reminded judicial officers that their authority was important in resolving conflicts in the community, asking them to perform their judicial functions with impartiality and that they should know that they are not above the law.
Prof Juma reminded them that the main task of a magistrate was to make a decision, or to write a formal judgment, which is part of the Court's permanent record of the case brought before it.
He noted that the judgment is a decision that will remain in place for many years to come and shows how one handled the dispute, the evidence presented, and how he or she analyzed the provisions of the various laws, compared them with the evidence of the opposing parties before issuing a verdict.
"So, judgment is the product of your efforts, your knowledge and your professionalism. Judgment carries your order in the way you interpret the law and do justice without fear or favor. So, writing judgment is a matter of honour, and that is why you will start being called gentlemen," he said.
The Chief Justice also asked the magistrates to prepare themselves to live up to the code of conduct and ethics for judicial officers (2020) adopted by the Judicial Service Commission and signed on October 21, 2020.
The principles, he said, provide specific guidelines and standards of conduct to assist judges, registrars, magistrates and also judicial officers, to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
"Your ethics can be questioned when your relatives intervene in court proceedings. They need to know your limits. Be part of problems solving and instead of turning into a problem ," the CJ said.
He also reminded them that the work of the judiciary is the work of the public and the public, through the citizens, through the Judicial Service Commission, under which other state organs, notably the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) are all watching them.
According to the Chief Justice, the situation is aimed at ensuring that judicial officers perform their duties in accordance with ethics.