CJ demands actions on criminal justice report

THE Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, has challenged Judges and judicial officers to work on the recommendations made recently by the presidential commission on the review of Tanzania’s criminal justice system, including complaints on delay of disposal of cases.

Prof Juma made such an appeal on Thursday when he was opening a two-day Annual Meeting of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania that is being held here.

He said that the Judiciary of Tanzania is one of the institutions examined by the commission which has given its recommendations in relation to the issues identified that need improvement, including cases taking too long time in court without being heard.

“According to the Chairman of the Commission, retired Chief Justice, Mohamed Chande Othman, citizens are complaining a lot about cases that are pending in our courts without being heard.

“Please, read the report so that together we can come up with ideas to deal with that challenge as well as other challenges that diminish the reputation of the Judiciary in general,” he said.

Prof Juma also noted that the Commission has identified areas where citizens have recommended all institutions in the Criminal Justice system to be improved and changed.

The Chief Justice noted that the improvements that will be made in other Criminal Justice Institutions will definitely touch on the Judiciary’s activities, thus the need for preparations of such changes that may have some implications on the dispensation of justice.

He gave an example of one area concerning the use of Information and Communication Technology (IT) where the Commission found that Criminal Justice Institutions are facing the challenge of incompatible systems.

The Chief Justice said that the Judiciary cannot avoid the recommendations of the Commission for the existence of an integrated criminal justice system that will connect the Criminal Justice Institutions to help in the exchange of information.

“Therefore, the new system of the judiciary of e-Case Management System must be prepared to connect, read and exchange information with the prospective system of Criminal Justice Institutions in the country that will be come into force in the future,” he said.

Prof Juma also asked judicial staff to prepare themselves for floods of cases that will flow in courts as a result of better investigation from Criminal Justice Institutions based on the commission’s recommendations on the investigation and collection of scientific evidence due to great development of technology.

He said that the judiciary will not be understood by the community for failing to receive and use the scientific evidence produced as a result of the best investigative systems that will be built.

The Chief Justice explained that improvements in investigation from various criminal investigation institutions and establishing a new and independent investigative authority will require major changes and improvements at all levels of Courts.

“If the judiciary is not prepared to change according to the improvements in the Criminal Justice Institutions, our shortcomings will be clearly visible and we will be pointed at by the people and other pillars of the State,” he said.

Prof Juma also used the opportunity to congratulate the Judges of the Court of Appeal as well as staff in the court for carrying out their duties with great professionalism and efficiency through the sessions conducted by the Court of Appeal.

“According to the Chief Registrar General Report for the year 2022, the Court of Appeal concluded a total of 1,890 cases, which is more than what were determined in 2021, which is 1,879 cases.

“These reports show that we are not going back, so we deserve congratulations for everyone’s efforts in achieving this success,” he said.

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