Law Association of Zambia condemns attacks on Judicial officers

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The Law Association of Zambia has said that it strongly condemns the attacks on Judicial officers in the media.

In a statement issued to the media, LAZ President Linda Kasonde said her organization condemns the publications which seem to criticise decisions made by judges in cases which are before the courts of law.

Ms Kasonde who has faced criticism herself due to her organization’s stance on certain cases in recent times, said the criticism was undermining the independence of the Judiciary in the country.

She explained that going to the press was not the right channel through which Judicial officers can be criticised as it does not give them a chance to be heard and respond to the allegations.

“…. The said articles and reports seem to criticise decisions made by judges in cases which are before the courts of law. LAZ is saddened by these publications as they undermine the independence of the Judiciary and deprive the particular judges a right to be heard and respond to the allegations.”

She said Zambia is a democratic society which has embraced the separation of power and that the Judiciary was an important component of that society if it is to flourish.

“…The recent articles and editorials published by certain media organizations are an attack on the aforesaid principal of Independence of the Judiciary which is a besic tenet of a democratic society and may deminish the integrity of our Judicial system. LAZ strongly condemns the attacks on the Judiciary in the press especially as this is not the appropriate forum to deal with any alleged misconduct or shortcomings of Judicial officers without a fair hearing,” she said.

Ms Kasonde however, called on those with grievances to use the established channels in dealing with judges found wanting.

“Although the importance of the Judiciary cannot be over emphasised, it is equally true that no Judicial officer is immune from oversight or sanctions where they are found wanting. Article 144 and Article 236 of the our Constitution makes provisions for Complaints to be made to the Judicial Complaints Commission against Judicial officers,” she said.

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