CHIEF Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma has urged the High Court judges, who were yesterday sworn-in by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, to uphold ethical standards and integrity.
“In suggesting names of judges, ethics is the most important criterion considered, so I urge you to adhere to ethics and practice good behavior as judges,” the CJ said during the swearing-in ceremony of 21 High Court judges at Chamwino State House in Dodoma.
Recalling a statement by Tanzania’s first President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the Chief Justice said; “Mwalimu Julius Nyerere said we start with faith, and so, we believe that those appointed as judges have good intentions for the country and Tanzanians in general, without trusting them we cannot appoint them as judges.”
Prof Juma stressed that all appointed judges will get an orientation seminar about their work, ethics and procedures.
“After this oath… from tomorrow (today), we will start a three-week seminar in which, among other things, the judges will be taught the importance of observing ethics in court activities,” he said.
The Head of the Judiciary mentioned other criteria used to suggest the names for new judges as the ability to write and express themselves in Kiswahili and English language, the presentation of arguments, understanding and extensive experience in legal and judicial matters.
He explained that the Judicial Service Commission requested from legal stakeholders to suggest the names of eligible judges, whereby they received 232 names and managed to select 57 of them that were sent to the president for selection.
“These 232 names comprised 87 from the Judiciary, 30 State Attorneys, 22 from high learning institutions, 53 independent advocates, 40 others from ministries, departments and public institutions,” the chief justice revealed.
Prof Juma expressed his gratitude for the appointment of the new judges as the increase of 22 appointees, including one, who was not sworn in today, is an interpretation of moving justice delivery services closer to the people.
The CJ pointed out further that the appointment considered the gender balance, which is important for the judiciary. Before the appointment, High Court women judges were 27 out of 78, which is equal to 35 per cent, but after the selection of 22 judges the number has reached 37 per cent.
Moreover, he said, the increase of 22 judges will reduce the burden of cases for the existing judges. The CJ said before the new appointment each judge was handling an average of 340 cases per year, but this increase will reduce the burden to 265 cases per year.
The 21 High Court Judges sworn in by the Head of State were Kevin Mhina, Gabriel Malata, Happiness Ndesamburo, Ruth Masam, Adrian Kilimi, Godfrey Isaya, Obadiya Bwegoge and Victoria Nongwa.
Other are Gladys Barthy, Fatma Khalfan, Asina Omani, Hamidu Mwanga, Marlin Komba, Monica Otaru, Kamana Kamana, Lusungu Hongoli, Haji Suleiman, Dr Mwajuma Juma, Dr Cleophas Morris, Aisha Bade and Mussa Pomo.