Tanzania: CJ Warns Lawyers Over Needless Activism

April 26, 2018

CHIEF Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma yesterday warned the Tanganyika Law Society against mixing politics and human rights activism when discharging its functions under the laws for which it was established.

At a press conference in Dar es Salaam, the CJ insisted that the TLS is a public entity and thus, appealed to the leaders of the bar association to go back to the line to avoid any confrontations with the Judiciary or State. “We cannot let you choose the direction you have chosen under the pretext of exercising freedom and mind you the Judiciary under which you’re closely working with will not give you any cooperation or allow you to give any legal advice to us,”

the CJ warned. He recalled that the TLS is the Bar Association of Tanzania Mainland, which was founded in 1954 by an Act of Parliament, the Tanganyika Law Society Ordinance 1954 and currently was being governed by the Tanganyika Law Society Act. According to the CJ, the TLS was established with several statutory objectives, notably to assist the Government and the Courts in all matters affecting legislation and administration and practice of the law in Tanzania.

Prof. Juma mentioned other objectives as facilitating the acquisition of legal knowledge by members of the legal profession and others and protecting and assisting the public in Tanzania in all matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law. He cited other TLS duties as representing, protecting and assisting members of the legal profession in Tanzania as regards to conditions of practice and otherwise and maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Tanzania. “




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The IBAHRI supported the Tanganyika Law Society in communicating with the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers regarding threats against the Association’s president and against the legal profession in Tanzania.

Read more about this issue in the 2017 Annual Review: https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 2/5/18)

In 2017, the IBAHRI called for accountability concerning cases where prominent legal figures came under attack.

In Tanzania, Mr. Lissu, the President of the Tanganyika Law Society, was shot. In Myanmar, prominent lawyer U Ko Ni was fatally shot. In Venezuela, Judge Afiuni was detained when she judged a politically sensitive case.

The IBAHRI called on the respective country and states to ensure justice for these individuals. To further combat the climate of fear and protect the rule of law, the IBAHRI took on trial-monitoring and fact-finding missions that have continued in 2018.

Read more about the IBAHRI’s work on protecting the legal profession in our 2017 Annual Review: https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

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