Judiciary Approves Use of Kiswahili in Tanzania's Legal System

The executive and the judiciary have agreed to fully switch the legal system and legal materials from English to the Kiswahili language, a century since the establishment of the high court in the country. Speaking at the opening of this year's Tanzania legal week and the 100th anniversary of the high court, Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said that it was unjust to deny justice to a group of the citizens on the grounds of a language barrier because rural residents are unaware of most of the legal processes, thus limiting access to justice in their communities. Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma said the changes within the judiciary are in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution that calls for transparency and efficiency in delivering justice. Technically, 70% of court proceedings in the country are run in Kiswahili, only legal materials such as judgments are still being recorded in English.

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