Lawyer suffers defeat in petition to challenge law School results

DAR ES SALAAM: LAWYER Alexander Barunguza has suffered another defeat in his constitutional petition challenging poor results he got in two courses at the Law School of Tanzania.

This time around, the High Court, Main Registry, has dismissed the Lawyer’s application seeking for orders to allow audio-visual recording of the proceedings in his constitutional matter, which is pending.

Judge Abdi Kagomba found no merit on the application since the affidavit he lodged to support the same does not provide any reason to justify the granting of court order sought.

The judge observed in his ruling delivered in Dar es Salaam recently that the lawyer had not applied for his desired order, to wit, to be supplied with the recorded proceedings for public sharing.

“Supply of the recorded proceedings to a party is a distinct order, which is not part of the application before this court. It has once been said that a court of law is no one’s mother. It cannot grant a party a relief he or she did not apply for,” he said.

During hearing of the application, the lawyer had told the court that the public will have interest to know what is going on in court concerning the complaints aired against the Law School.

The lawyer submitted that he wished to have the proceedings recorded for himself and his relatives within and outside the country to see what happened in the case.

He underscored that the only condition for his application to be granted, according to the law, is the availability of audio-visual equipment and that the Judiciary has persistently been reporting its achievements in the ICT field.

On reply, Mr Kalokola agreed with the lawyer that the law allows audio-visual recording of court proceedings. He was, however, quick to urge the court to satisfy itself on the legal conditions.

The conditions include the equipment to be used must ensure accuracy and that if the equipment is trustworthy. He added that the equipment used to record and share information must be approved by the court.

In his ruling, the judge noted from the lawyer’s submission that motivation for filing the application is to enable himself, his relatives and the public know what was happened in the proceedings of the constitutional case.

In his considered opinion, neither the chamber summons nor the supporting affidavit addresses the lawyer’s desire to share the electronically-recorded proceedings.

“In other words, what the (lawyer)’s desires to do is not what he craves for in his chamber summons. I think, this is serious shortfall,” the judge said.

He insisted, “no prayer is made in the chamber summons by the (lawyer) to be supplied with a copy of the proceedings upon being electronically recorded.”

The judge further said that nowhere in the affidavit the lawyer specifically states the justification for the court to direct electronic recording of the proceedings, let alone to share the same with his relatives and the public.

Alexander Barunguza 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.

Upon acceptance, registration and payment of the requisite fees, the Petitioner commenced his practical legal training programme as a 2019 December-Intake. Later, he sat for his year 2020/2021 examinations, but failed two courses as per the results released in April 2021.

Unsatisfied with the results, the lawyer filed an appeal alleging that the marking of his two exam-answer scripts was unfairly done. Although preferred such appeal, he, nevertheless, proceeded and sit for supplementary examinations in May/June 2021 in respect of the two courses.

Having the appeal been dismissed, the lawyer was not satisfied by the manner and procedure under which his appeal was heard. It was at that point in time when he decided to take the matter to court for judicial scrutiny.

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