Magistrates Must Keep Time

Quiet clearly, the courts and the prisons in Botswana are overpopulated with people seeking recourse to justice.

But he should be the very one to ensure that the juridical system operates properly, smoothly and judiciously.
Not so long ago, the judges were pleading for better remuneration, but they said very little about how an improvement in their wages would facilitate an improvement to the juridical system.


The fact of the matter is that it takes ages to get matters before the court.  That has imponderable implications for the majority of Batswana who are poor.They have to literally buy the services of lawyers who have an inordinate appetite for money, and a lesser concern for the carrying out of justice.


We now get the impression that the system of justice suffers from yet another chronic disease in the form of the late coming of magistrates to court.
Prosecution and defence lawyers always appear, perhaps as a matter of training, late to court.


If the observation is well founded, that the lawyers have also made a 'habit' of arriving late at their stations, things cannot be made worse for the clients of the juridical system and the general public.


Are not the magistrates the very people who will charge accused persons for contempt of court when they appear late in court?What is it that the magistrates do, in addition to trying and deciding cases that should be the cause of their delay?
Does the notoriously infamous government 'performance management system' also apply to magistrates?


And since these magistrates tend to be removed from the direct view of society, how shall the offended general public reprimand the magistrates with fairness? Have not the magistrates and the High Court judges become a law unto themselves?
Before Chief Justice Moleleki Mokama died, he argued for the independence of the judiciary, wanting it to be listed in the telephone directory as an independent arm of government.


Did he, in his seemingly dutiful endeavours, fuel or create a false sense of self-importance in the legal profession as personified in the magistrates?

 

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