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Gov’t mulls setting up commercial courts

CHAKALISA DUBE
Minister Shaw Kgathi officialy opening the stakeholder conference of administration of justice in Francistwon PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: Government is assessing the possibility of establishing commercial courts around the country in a bid to ensure a quicker resolution of commercial disputes and improve the country’s ease of doing business ratings.

Should the idea come to pass, it will also be a way of improving the overall efficiency of the country’s judiciary.

Officially opening the 2018 Judicial Stakeholders conference in Francistown this week, Defence, Justice and Security Minister, Shaw Kgathi said commercial courts would strengthen the business climate and ultimately attract investors to the country.

“You will agree with me that the judiciary is or should be part of the economic transformation of the country. One of the areas that have been identified as key to this process (transformation) is the establishment of commercial courts around the country. “This is seen as an urgent strategy for facilitating ease of doing business.

“We are seriously looking into this proposal, ” he said.

The Minister added: “The judiciary should be responsive to national economic transformational strategies such as ease of doing business. I encourage the judiciary to do more to assist enhance Botswana’s ease of doing business ratings”.

He added that the country was also assessing the possibility of having

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corruption courts around the country.

This he said would also improve the efficiency of the judicial system and create a good business climate, which would result in the attraction of foreign direct investment and support economic growth. Concerns have in the past been raised about the length of time it takes for the judiciary to deal with some high profile corruption cases.

Earlier in the conference, chief justice Terrence Rannowane stressed that delays in the completion of some criminal and civil cases erode public and investor confidence.

“In the case of the courts, it impacts on the ease of doing business and impedes government’s endeavours of making the country a prime choice for investors and create jobs,” he said. Botswana fared badly in the area of contract enforcement in the latest Doing Business Report released by the World Bank. Non-enforcement of contracts by both government and private entities is one of country’s most prevalent commercial disputes.

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