Locus Standi in Judicial Review matters: A review
Longwe, Masiye Penjani
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It is trite to say that judicial review is the most effective means of redressing grievances occasioned by the maladministration of public officials as compared to the non-judicial mechanisms of redress, that is the Ombudsman, commissions of inquires, tribunals and constitutional arrangements.This is seen in how, forinstance, the Investigator General does not have the power to enforce findings - a major flaw that renders him quite ineffective. He simply recommends them to the president who is not under any duty to act on them.Similarly, Commissions of Inquiries have not been a very effective means of controlling public powers in that one would come up with very good recommendations, but they are not binding on government. And more often than not they are largely ignored, as has been the trend in Zambia.As with tribunals, their essence is to provide for speedy and cheap dispensation of justice, hence their foregoing of legal technicalities and formalities such as rules of evidence. However, the process drags on negating the purpose for having them.Lastly, constitutional arrangements such as Question and Answer time in parliament and Select Committees are all means by which Parliament acts as a check on the excesses of the executive. Nonetheless the scenario in Zambia has been that Parliament has acted more like an extension of the executive mainly because of having all, or the majority of the members from one political party.This essay is based on the view that, although judicial review is deemed to be the most effective mechanism of checking excesses in the administrative process, the position in Zambia regarding standing in matters of judicial review is too restrictive and therefore needs to be relaxed and extended.
- Law