Management Of Backlog Of Cases By The Justice System – CAG Report

The administration of criminal justice in the country is a collective role of different institutions including the Judiciary of Tanzania, the Police Force, the National Prosecution Services, Prison as well as Parole Board. The Judiciary is the apex body in the dispensation of justice. Timely criminal cases disposition is one of the factors exhibiting the existence of justice in any country. The observance of rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, compels expeditious and timely disposition of justice particularly in criminal cases, irrespective of individual status, and without undue regard to procedural technicalities.

However, delays in criminal cases disposal have factored as one of the major challenges facing the Judiciaries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Tanzania. The delay referred in this report is with respect to the time consumed in the disposal of criminal cases in excess of the ideal time within which a case reasonably ought to have been finally decided by the Court.

This Audit was driven by weaknesses in the administration of justice in Tanzania, predominantly the delay in criminal cases disposition. Based on the speech by Her Excellency Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan the President of United Republic of Tanzania, on 21th May 2021 during the swearing ceremony of Judges, it was noted that delays in both criminal and civil cases, timely disposal of cases in Tanzania’s is a challenge. The delays in the disposal of criminal cases exist in all stages of the administration of criminal justice from investigation to judgment when an accused is either acquitted or convicted. The suspect or accused, victims of crime, witnesses, and other interested persons in the criminal justice machinery face unnecessary delays in the disposal of criminal cases. Her Excellency the President of noted further that, most delays are caused by prolonged investigation and legal technicalities involved in the criminal justice process, consequently, causing a backlog of cases. This state of affairs does not augur well with the constitutional principles of fair trial and presumption of innocence. Justice delayed is justice denied.

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