The Efficacy of the Judicial Complaints Authority
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An independent and impartial judiciary has been long recognised as a mechanism to enhance public confidence in the judiciary. In Zambia, the Judicial Complaints Authority was charged with this. The main objective of the research was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Judicial Complaints Authority in dealing with complaints and allegations of misconduct by judicial officers. Of particular importance was the role that the Authority plays in the investigating of cases by judicial officers. The research found that the Authority receives a number of complaints every year of which it has discharged over eighty percent of them. However, the Authority has not been so successful in terms of submitting its findings and recommendations to the appropriate authority. The lack of this core function has led to the Authority is not discharging its mandate and has thus impeded the effective dealing of complaints of judicial misconduct. A number of factors have been attributed to this failure namely that the Authority lacks autonomy, has no office building, lacks funding, its geographic location, has no information management system. Further, the Authority has no real power to impose sanctions on judicial officers which would go a long way in enhancing its effectiveness. Thus it has been proposed that the Authority needs to be revamped so as to make it more effective. Therefore, it has been suggested that the enabling Act should be amended and strengthened so as to accord the Authority autonomy and the power to impose sanctions on erring judicial officers. It is hoped that this will encourage reports of complaints of judicial misconduct and enhance public confidence in the judiciary and as such enable the Authority perform its vital function and mandate effectively.
- Law