Botswana: Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi says it is important to promote a robust and independent judiciary. President Masisi said that this will help to sustain a strong and vibrant democracy to deal with contemporary societal issues in innovative ways that advance the quality of the law philosophy.
Speaking during the official opening of the 10th Biennial Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute’s (CJEI) conference this morning, Dr Masisi stated that it is important to recognize and appreciate the critical role played by the CJEI in empowering Judicial Officers across nations of the Commonwealth.
He highlighted that CJEI biennial conferences have led to the opening of Judicial Colleges for a more sustained Judicial Education Programme. He said the dialogue was essential for protecting the rule of law and promoting access to justice, not only in Botswana but also in the rest of the Commonwealth.
President Masisi said Botswana values the relationships and common values shared amongst the Commonwealth countries, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation extending beyond the judicial systems.
He explained that Botswana operates on a Dual Legal System, comprising Customary Law and Common Law derived from English Law as well as Roman-Dutch Law.
Dr Masisi stated that the theme for the conference resonates well with Botswana’s deliberate efforts aimed at improving its Judicial Education Processes. He said this is done through the provision of sustainable infrastructure, inclusive judicial education programmes, digitizing case management and institutionalizing electronic record management systems.
The President highlighted that Botswana has also incorporated the establishment of Judicial Colleges during the two-year Second Transitional National Development Plan that commenced in April 2023 and will end on 31st March 2025.
For his part, the Minister of Justice, Machana Ronald Shamukuni, added that issues of justice are at the helm of all government’s undertakings. Therefore, a strong justice sector will build a strong nation.
The conference brings together Chief Justices, Justices, Judges, Magistrates, legal scholars and experts to exchange ideas and experiences and find solutions to the challenges facing the Administration of Justice and the Legal profession today. It also gives the local legal fraternity an opportunity to interact with and learn from their peers from other Commonwealth countries.