Come up with a private complaint method, urged JSC

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
ANTI-corruption watchdog Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI-Z) urged the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to come up with a private complaints method that could be used by civil society activists and whistleblowers to report the corruption.

In a statement yesterday in response to Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s State of the Judiciary address on Monday, TI-Z urged the JSC to embrace technology to prevent corruption in the justice system.

In his speech on Monday, Malaba denounced the low salaries of judges and other court officials, which he said led 88 judicial officers, including 18 magistrates, to move to greener pastures.

“A confidential and rigorous formal complaints procedure is vital so that lawyers, court users, prosecutors, police, the media and civil society can report suspected or actual violations of the code of conduct, or corruption by officials. judicial officers, court administrators or lawyers. »TI The -Z instruction is read.

The watchdog urged the JSC to ensure that all judicial appointments are merit-based and independent.

“The selection criteria should be clear and well communicated, allowing applicants, selectors and others to fully understand where the bar selection lies. Candidates must demonstrate competence and integrity, ”he said, adding that journalists should be able to fairly comment on court proceedings and report suspected and actual cases of corruption to the JSC.

“Laws that give magistrates discretion to award crippling compensation in defamation cases prevent the media from investigating and reporting suspicions of corruption.

“Judicial officers should have access to information and training in legal analysis, explanation of decisions, drafting of judgments and management of cases as well as ethics and the fight against Corruption.

“The prosecution must conduct legal proceedings in public (except for children), publish the reasons for decisions; and produce publicly available prosecution guidelines to guide and assist decision-makers in the conduct of prosecutions.

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