REMARKS BY HON. LADY JUSTICE AGNES ENOS BUKUKU, JUDGE OF THE HIGH COURT OF TANZANIA – MWANZA, DURING THE OCASSION OF OPENING THE CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING TO JUVENILE JUSTICE FRONTLINE WORKERS, AT THE OPEN UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA, MWANZA ON 4TH JUNE, 2018

  • The Honorable Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Tanzania, Mwanza High Court Zone,
  • The Honourable Nyigulila Mwaseba, Deputy Registrar (Appointee), the Institute of Judicial Administration Lushoto IJA,
  • Training Facilitators, and Organizers,
  • Participants of this training,
  • Invited guests, protocol being observed,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,
  • Good Morning to you all,

Distinguished Participants

First and foremost let me take this rare opportunity to welcome you all here at the Lake Zone especially for those coming from outside the City of Mwanza which is popularly known as “ROCK CITY”, given its landscape and scenery. I am sure you will enjoy not only the good weather but also a meal accompanied with fresh fish famously known as “Sato”. I bet you will take time to get to know the beauty of Mwanza.

Distinguished Participants

I feel privileged and honoured to deliver this Opening Remarks at this special occasion of officiating the training that aims at building the capacity of all Juvenile Justice Frontline Workers, which is taking place here at Mwanza the heart of the Lake Zone and center of the Mwanza High Court Zone which takes care of the regions of Mara, Geita, and Mwanza itself.

Distinguished Participants,

Allow me to congratulate the Institute of Judicial Administration, Lushoto-IJA, for ably coordinating and organizing this training that brings together Hon. Magistrates, Learned State Attorneys, Learned Advocates, Public Prosecutors and Social Welfare Officers.Indeed it is a rare occasion to have a training of this nature that brings together all key stakeholders in the administration of juvenile Justice. I am equally pleased in this particular case because, this is the second training to be conducted for Juvenile Justice Frontline Workers, here in Mwanza High Court Zone, following the first training of this nature that took place in Mara Region sometimes in March this year.

Distinguished Participants,

In a very special way I wish to recognize the immense and unconditional support of the Judiciary of Tanzania and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), not only for their moral and material support, but also for their continued commitment without which this project would not have reached this far. The Judiciary of Tanzania and UNICEF have been the recipe for IJA’s continued efforts in the resolve to ensure that all key Juvenile Justice Frontline Workers are onboard in as far as capacity building on how to handle juvenile cases is concerned.

Distinguished Participants,

Permit me at this juncture to express my appreciation to the Organizers of this training, for choosing this office of the Judge in Charge, High Court Mwanza, to officiate this training today. Indeed, it is a honour to me given the special place that juvenile justice has now been judicially noticed within the legal regime in our country.

Distinguished Participants

I am given to understand that, this is the last training programme in this financial year 2017/2018, for this project. I am aware that the project started this financial year with a refresher Training of Trainers course (TOT) that took place in the Coast Region, followed by Inaugural Training that took place in Mbeya for Mbeya High Court Zone. This was followed by a series of other training programmes in Dodoma, Iringa, Tabora, High Court Registries, and Mara High Court Region and the recent training took place at IJA in Lushoto for Tanga High Court Registry. In my considered opinion, this is indeed a great achievement not only for the Judiciary of Tanzania but also for the Institute of Judicial Administration Lushoto-IJA, UNICEF and the Judiciary Sector at large. The milestone reached in terms of number of trainings and the participants reached to date which, I am informed, is 238 is not only commendable but also very inspiring.

Distinguished participants,

We are all aware that The Law of the Child Act is in place since 2009, and that, The Law of the Child (Juvenile Court Procedure) Rules, were formulated and published in the year 2016. The two provides a legal framework on how to handle cases involving children when they are in conflict with the law, and when they are in need of care and protection. However, the fact that these pieces of legislation are in place, does not in itself guarantee their effective implementation. It is therefore imperative that training to all key Juvenile Justice Frontline Workers is provided for effective and efficient implementation of the law.

Distinguished participants,

I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that, Tanzania is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). Tanzania is also a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, (ICESCR) which together are referred to as the International Bills of Human Rights. For that matter therefore, this training is very important in making sure that Tanzania implements its international treaty obligations by fully complying to the letter, the spirit of the CRC, ACRWC and the LCA along with its Regulations including the Juvenile Justice Rules.

Distinguished Participants,

I am aware that after this training you will come across cases involving children of different backgrounds, and social status, and therefore, I urge you to treat them accordingly in terms of the four core principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which are (i) Non-Discrimination,(ii) Best Interest of the Child, (iii) Right to Life, Survival and Development and (iv,) Right to Participation.

Distinguished Participants,

I wish to draw your attention in particular to Article 3 (1) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child,(CRC) which provides;

“In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.

Distinguished participants,

The essence of the above Article of the CRC which is also echoed in the Law of the Child Act, in particular section 4(2) is to remind us that children are among the most vulnerable group in the society that needs our attention, care and protection. Therefore, it is our primary duty as stakeholders in the juvenile justice to ensure that our actions are in line with the requirements of the CRC, ACRWC and the LCA.

Distinguished participants

A cursory perusal of the training programme has revealed to me that, during the five days of the training, you will cover alot of ground since you will be taken through the following important areas; (i) Children in Courts, The International, Regional and Tanzan...