Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday urged Tanzanians to make use of the Tanzania Arbitration Centre in resolving their legal disputes, noting that not every case should be sent to courts.
The Head of State made the suggestion while speaking during the celebration to mark the climax of the 2023 Law Week in Tanzania.
This year’s theme for Law Week is the Importance of Dispute Resolution through Arbitration in Promoting a Sustainable Economy: The Role of Courts and Stakeholders.
Speaking during the celebration that took place at the Chinangali grounds in the capital Dodoma, President Samia said:
“My hope is that, as Tanzanians, it reaches a stage where bringing each other to court is not a must unless extremely necessary and instead we use the available arbitration mechanisms in resolving our cases.”
According to figures she shared during the event, a total of 64 disputes among the 354 disputes filed at the Tanzania Arbitration Centre in 2022 were resolved, a step the Head of State described as “commendable.”
“It is an encouraging development,” she noted. “It is a work in progress and I believe if we continue making use of those mechanisms many more people will have their justice accessed through the arbitration system.”
Law Week is a nationwide initiative aimed at promoting community awareness and understanding of the law, the legal system and the legal profession. This year, the Week commenced on January 22, preceded by a walk led by Vice-President Dr Phillip Mpango.
The Week brings together the judiciary, stakeholders and citizens to remind each other of the importance of justice and show the effects on the people’s and country’s economy because of the delay in disposing of cases.
Speaking during the Week’s climax on Wednesday, Chief Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma said that dispute resolution through arbitration has a constitutional and legal basis in Tanzania, commending the arrangement for its role in ensuring access to justice in the country.
“Our constitution requires us to begin with resolution through arbitration,” CJ Juma said during the event. “Using the arrangement is to make sure that justice is not being delayed unnecessarily.”
Prof Juma said that it is everyone’s responsibility to consider the path of resolution through arbitration before exploring other mechanisms of accessing justice.
President of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) Edward Hosea said during the event that it is high time now that the concept of resolution through arbitration reaches the public, saying the bar society will help in the process.
Lukelo Francis is The Chanzo Journalist based in Dar es Salaam. He can be found at email@example.com.