Chief Justice Mumba Malili has stressed the need to equip local courts with the necessary tools so that people can comfortably resort to litigating in the Local Court as a viable alternative to subordinate and high courts.
Justice Malila said that people seeking redress should find well-informed, confident, and not so scary adjudicators ready to deal with their matters even in local courts.
He was speaking at the opening of a two day training workshop for local court justices in Kabwe, Central Province.
Justice Malila stressed Government’s commitment to establish and recognize Local Courts to meet the demands of local communities.
He stated that the increasing population and the distance between existing courts would be considered when establishing local courts.
The Chief Justice stressed that it is important that their jurisdiction is enhanced so that an even greater number of the litigating public benefits given the significant role that Local Courts play in dispensing justice speedily.
He stated: “This issue is presently under consideration”.
Justice Malila noted that local courts constitute the bedrock of justice at our local community as they are accessible to the most vulnerable.
“These courts are the most vivid and practical reminders of the presence of the judicial arm of government and its authority amongst the citizens of our country in the remotest rural communities,” he said.
He cautioned the participants to be mindful that authority they exercise has certain duties and obligations attached to it.
Justice Malila urged the local court justices to conduct themselves in a manner that should not provoke critics.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the advisory committee on training and continuing education, Justice Mungeni Mulenga stated that her committee was not able to address training needs of all judicial staff but was not able to train them due to inadequate resources.
Justice Mulenga stated that the Magistrates and justice Association of Zambia (MAJAZ) partnered with the committee to carry out the training for the first time.
And MAJAZ acting President Mwiinde Siavwapa which is being conducted for the first time is in line with the objective of the association.
He stated that most of the members in the local courts have never undergone induction upon being inducted as adjudicators.
He said that MAJAZ conducted training to ensure that they carry out their duties in an effective and efficient manner.
Justice Siavapa said the association spent K300, 000 on the training.