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Tackling Case Backlog at the Law Council


The Law Council needs nine years to hear 865 cases pending against lawyers if no new cases were filed. This is impossible because complaints against lawyers are filed on a daily basis and the Law Council cannot sit to hear the complaints on a daily basis. There are many reasons why the Law Council cannot deal with the burgeoning backlog but key among them are the Rules of Procedure for the Disciplinary which are designed for the adversarial system with very little room, if any, for alternative dispute resolution. The same Rules only provide for a lone Coram, which sadly sits once in a week thus making it difficult for the Law Council to handle more cases than it is doing at the moment. The need for reviewing the Rules of Procedure has never been urgent than today!


It is against this background that the Justice, Law and Order Sector with support from the DANIDA - Judiciary programme has embarked on a project to review the rules of procedure of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Council. The support arises out of a specific request from the Law Council to review the Rules of Procedure as one of the ways of dealing with chronic delays in disposal of complaints against lawyers.


The Disciplinary Committee of the Law Council is mandated to exercise disciplinary control over advocates and their clerks in accordance with the Advocates (Disciplinary Committee) (Procedure) Regulations S.I 267-6. As a result of the many changes that have occurred over time, it has been realized that the current rules of procedure are not efficient in so far as the trial process is concerned.

In this regard, M/S Legislative Drafting and Research Consultants has been contracted to review the rules of procedure. The scope of the consultancy is;

  1. To study the Advocates Act [Cap. 267] as amended by the Advocates (Amendment) Act No. 27 of 2002;
  2. To study the Advocates (Disciplinary Committee) (Procedure) Regulations S.I 267-6 and suggest areas which require amendment, in light of the changes brought about by the Advocates (Amendment) Act No. 27 of 2002;
  3. To carry out comparative studies with other Common Law jurisdictions, and incorporate the best practices in the revised rules of procedure;
  4. To carry out wide consultations with relevant stakeholders, to gather their views on the law and need for amendment;
  5. To explore and recommend the adoption of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms before the Disciplinary Committee;
  6. To evaluate the adjudication machinery of the Law Council including admissibility of disputes, coram and use of other centres for dispute resolution, and in that regard recommend corrective actions where possible;
  7. To recommend simplified and expedient trial mechanism and suggest areas which should be regulated;
  8. To prepare and present a Preliminary Report to the Law Council for consideration.


The Justice Law and Order Sector is grateful to the Kingdom of Denmark for the timely intervention which will support other justice reforms being implemented under the Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III)




 DOWNLOAD: Case Backlog Document Centre




By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Published: May 2 2013


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"Tackling Case backlog at the Law Council" is republished with permission of the Justice, Law and Order Sector."