An evaluation of the Town and Country planning tribunal and its contribution to the justice system of Zambia

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Mutemi, Joy-Racheal
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Tribunals are usually preferred to ordinary Courts because firstly, its members have specialized knowledge on the subject matter, procedures are informal and they are usually cheaper, more accessible and expeditious than Courts of law. It is for this reason that this essay set out to evaluate the Town and Country Planning Tribunal and thereafter determine its contribution to the justice system of Zambia, In order to achieve this the essay begins by giving a background to the study, sets out the benefits of Tribunals and thereafter, the essay points out the shortcomings in the operations of the Tribunal. In order to understand and appreciate the Tribunal in its current form, the essay ventures into the past in order to find out factors that led to the establishment of the Tribunal. The essay also points out the various mechanisms that were put in place by the Legislature during enactment of the Town and Country Planning Act as well as the Town and Country Planning Appeals Regulations in order to enable the Tribunal to carry out its ftinctions such as, conferring it with jurisdiction, and providing for a president and three members to sit with the president when determining matters. This was done through desk research in which relevant literature, case law and legislation was consulted. Moreover, interviews were conducted with members of the Tribunal and planning officers. The essay concluded that, ahhough the Tribunal has cushioned the spiraling court fees and also the all to legalistic court procedures, it has not efficiently carried out its function of providing speedy resolution of disputes due to inadequate staff and members of the Tribunal. In addition, the absence of default procedures has equally delayed the time that the Tribunal ought to take in disposing off cases. The Tribunal has not efficiently performed its role of hearing and determining planning disputes because it is sparingly used by the Public the majority of whom are unaware of the existence of the Tribunal. Despite the fact that proceedings of the Tribunal are equally as lengthy as courts of law, the Tribunal is contributing to the justice system of Zambia by providing redress to parties aggrieved by a decision of the planning authority.
Planning-law and legislation , Justice system-Zambia