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CJ urges govt to refurbish court buildings

18th February 2012
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Chief Justice (CJ) Othman Chande

Chief Justice (CJ) Othman Chande yesterday appealed to the government to invest in the refurbishment of court buildings, saying most of them were in a pathetic state.

Addressing members of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) meeting in Arusha, CJ Chande said having improved court infrastructure would increase efficiency in the administration of justice.

The CJ also urged state organs to improve judicial procedures and legal services, equipping legal practitioners with facilities and requisite training to ensure improved service delivery.

“While some court houses are in a pathetic state, other areas do not have such premises and people are forced to travel long distances seeking legal services,” said CJ Chande.

He asked the government to allocate enough funds for the purpose.

According to the Chief Justice, Tanzania has 1,005 court premises serving a population of over 43 million, while the country has only 732 magistrates compared to the size of the country and its population. He revealed that in Tanzania, a single judge served over 500,000 people, which was a rather big ratio compared to developed countries where one judge catered for just 10,000 people.

The limited number of magistrate and judges contributes to high costs and time consuming procedures, as people are forced to endure hardships in seeking justice or legal services.

TLS president Francis Stolla said the legal profession in the country was challenged by the overall system of operation and advised major reforms in the judiciary.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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