SENIOR judicial officials from all the 10 districts of Lesotho have acknowledged that the prevalent poor administration of the courts and other substandard work-related issues compromise the delivery of justice.
Dec. 8, 2022
2 min read
Judges, magistrates converge to develop strategies for enhanced delivery of justice
Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane
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The three-day seminar intended to develop strategies for improved and efficient service delivery and dispensation of justice to Basotho was attended by all judges of the High Court and magistrates.
The convention, which is underway in Teyateyaneng and ends on Friday this week is the first of its kind to be held in Lesotho in over 10 years.
In his keynote address, Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane appealed to all court administrators to go and study as well as comprehend their job descriptions in order to operate accordingly.
He acknowledged that good administration of the courts is the backbone of the judiciary.
He said he was aware that most practicing lawyers did not fully study administration at law school, hence, the poor administrative service they provide.
Commenting on the writing of judgments, the Chief Justice said members of the bench must read their judgments and do fair checks, which he added would help organise their work to enable them to judge trials and not just listen to them.
He shot down prosecutors for their poor opening submissions during trials, saying they needed to improve in order to successfully prosecute cases.
One of the participants, Resident Magistrate Thabang Tapole from the Mokhotlong Magistrate’s Court underscored the need for clear promotion policies and rules to ensure better administration in the judiciary.
The training, he reiterated would go a long way towards assisting the judiciary officers to write better judgments as suggested by the Chief Justice.
The judiciary in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) hosted the judges and magistrates colloquium.
The seminar was also aimed at strengthening the justice delivery mechanism in compliance with international standards, while simultaneously taking advantage of opportunities presented by current ongoing national reforms.
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Successful interface and deliberations at the colloquium aim to promote an independent judiciary by providing fair and impartial justice within the jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution and Parliament of Lesotho.
Furthermore, the deliberations were aimed at bringing in one room all senior management of the judiciary in order to discuss issues that affect their work in their dispensation of justice and recommend solutions thereof.
Again, the workshop was used as a platform for the participants to create and share a common view on the renewed vision for the judiciary in the next five years.
The training was also aimed at generating a common understanding of the judiciary strategic plan for 2022-2027 and developing an action plan in line with the strategic plan.
It also seeks to increase efficiency in the judiciary through reduced length of proceedings, clearance rates, number of pending cases, and the average length of court proceedings calculated from actual cases in specific areas of Lesotho law.