Courts rejects lawyer’s bid to halt law school sessions

THE High Court, Main Registry has rejected the application by Lawyer Alexander Barunguza, seeking to halt the Law School of Tanzania’s on-going training sessions, pending determination of his case he lodged to challenge poor results on two courses.

Judges Deo Nangela, Ephery Kisanya and Theodora Mwenegoha ruled that the lawyer, the petitioner, failed to sufficiently demonstrate all the requisite factors, including existence of a prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable loss, which would have convinced them to grant his prayer.

“Looking at the petitioner’s prayer for an injunctive order of this Court against the (the Law School of Tanzania), we do not think that (he) has been able to sufficiently demonstrate all the requisite factors which would have convinced us to grant his prayer,” they said in their ruling delivered recently.

During hearing of the matter, the petitioner had told the Court that his prayer was based on Rule 2 (3) of the Basic Rights and Duties Enforcement (Practice and Procedure) Rules, 2014, GN. No. 304 of 2014.

He contended that the kind of justice he was striving for is justice of all Tanzanians including himself and that his prayer is premised on Article 27 of the Constitution, on the ground that the Law School of Tanzania is in total misuse of public funds amounting to 3bn/-annually in its budget.

In their view, however, the judges pointed out that even on the basis of the said rule 2 (3), they could not think that  granting a temporary injunctive relief as prayed by the petitioner would be warranted.

“We hold it to be so because, evidentiary proof of the kind of wastefulness of public resources alleged and how such is hindering or interfering with the Petitioner’s realization of his rights, should have been established. That has not been established,” they said.

According to the judges, ensuring that ends of justice are properly meted out is the noble duty of the Court and that the provision relied upon by the Petitioner allows the Court to invoke its inherent powers for the sake of ensuring ends of justice and prevent abuse of its process.

However, they said, the inherent powers of the Court could not be lightly invoked to discharge such a noble duty based on bare words or be exercised on a vacuum but rather upon solid considerations of evidentiary materials laid before the Court.

The judges pointed out that even if the Court was to act on them, the balance of convenience would not have tilted in favour of the petitioner.

They observed that the granting of the prayer for temporary closure of all the programmes run or administered by the Law School of Tanzania means paralysing its statutory operations at the expense of the rights of other students as well.

“As such, it is the (Law School of Tanzania which) will stand out to be greatly inconvenienced if this Court was to grant the prayer. For the reasons stated herein above, (…….) we decline the preliminary prayer for the issuance of a temporary injunctive orders,” the judges ruled.

They also rejected another prayer by the petitioner, seeking orders to allow the proceedings of his case to be publicly broadcasted in a live-streaming mode using various available technological media.

The judges recognised the existence of an old principle which has always been, and, remains to be, at the core of delivery of judicial services, which is the principle of open justice, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.

However, they said, since that principle has been given such a primacy in the administration of justice, it is not left without operational guides or rules.

The judges pointed out that without there being appropriate rules to govern the entire aspects of live-streaming and recording of Court proceedings in the manner the Petitioner would prefer, the whole thing cannot be undertaken at the moment, even if he is ready to make it possible at his own initiatives.

“It is until when such rules are put in place and promulgated, for use, therefore, that, live-streaming and recording of Court proceedings will be made possible,” they said, referring to other judicial jurisdictions.

The Petitioner is a holder of Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB), which he obtained from University of Tumaini- Makumira, Arusha. On November 20, 2019, he applied for and, was admitted at the Law School of Tanzania for Practical Legal Training Programme.

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