African judicial dialogue calls for quality justice delivery

13Nov 2017
Edward Qorro
The Guardian
African judicial dialogue calls for quality justice delivery

THE curtain on the three-day African judicial dialogue for chief justices has called on them to rededicate themselves to ensure quality justice delivery in Africa suggesting that the alternative to dispute resolution should be deployed in enhancing Africa’s justice delivery system.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe Luke Malaba

  'Delivering quality justice is a tool for deepening democracy in Africa’. It was the last Saturday’s resounding call on chief justices to deliver special and quality justice to Africans.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe Luke Malaba underscored the importance of delivering quality justice to the citizenry, insisting that Chief Justices ought to become wheels of change in dispensing justice.

“Are we prepared to become new judges or remain the old ones and obstruct in the wheel of change,” queried Justice Malaba.

Judge Malaba noted that Chief Justices were continuously battling the pertinent questions of how they could well fit into quality justice expeditiously.

He challenged fellow CJs to ensure that Judges do what they are hired for and nothing short of that.

“It is of no use to see a Judge riding in a posh car when he cannot handle and clear the litigants on his desk,” added the Zimbabwean Chief Justice.

Among other things, the dialogue which organised by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) in collaboration with the German Development Corporation (GIZ), European Union and the World Bank came up with a recommendation of judges to subscribe to online courses with a view of addressing human rights related issues.

Delivering his closing remarks, AfCHPR Vice President Judge Ben Kioko noted that while country level structures had been put in place, systematic disparities, lack of adequate funding and limited technical capacities posed challenges to dispensing quality justice.

Justice Kioko insisted that the existing structures did not operate in the most efficient manner, noting that there was a lack of coordinated initiatives to build judicial education structures that advanced common standards across the continent.

“We can satisfy ourselves that initiatives like the proposed online course on human rights have the potential to address some of these challenges,” he asserted.

The dialogue which hosted more than 150 participants from AU member states aimed at exploring ways of enhancing judicial efficiency in Africa.