EDITORIAL: Judicial overhaul needed

Saturday January 12 2019

Legal redress is provided for in statute books for one who suffers injury. But, if redress is unduly delayed, it amounts to having no redress at all.

This is summed up in the legal maxim ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied.’

The Tanzania Law Reform Commission looked into complications regarding access to Justice, resulting in digitisation of the Judiciary to speed up civil court proceedings.

The Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affair hopes that with the Judiciary implementing a zero-backlog strategy, prolongation of cases will end.

But according to the Tanganyika Law Society, the justice system is in crisis, necessitating reforms– if not total overhaul.

In the event, the society urges the government to increase funding for the Judiciary. In 2016, the US State Department reported harsh, life-threatening prison conditions and lengthy pre-trial detention in Tanzania. These hamper the course of justice. The report quoted the Prisons commissioner general as saying funding was less than half the level required to provide inmates with adequate care.

We urge the government to work on improvements in the judicial system, including providing free legal aid to the needy, instead of leaving that responsibility to NGOs and human rights activists.