Workshop “Optimisation of the duration of trials” in Lusaka, Zambia

Participants of the workshop “Optimisation of the duration of trials” in Lusaka, Zambia.
Participants of the workshop “Optimisation of the duration of trials” in Lusaka, Zambia.

The IRZ and the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), organised a workshop for the first time on 20 June 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia, on the subject of “Optimisation of the duration of trials”. Approx. 25 judges from the high and local courts (high and subordinate courts) in Lusaka attended the event.

Ambassador Anne Wagner-Mitchell opened the event. In her introductory speech, she stressed the important role of the judiciary in strengthening good governance in Zambia. Ms. Katharina Rupp, expert in the INT-KOR department of the Federal Ministry of Justice, also highlighted in her welcoming speech that an orientation to a strong rule of law also makes an important contribution to stability and peace. Ms. Justice Mugeni Mulenga, Chairperson of the Chief Justice's advisory committee on training and a constitutional judge, followed on by emphasising the importance of an independent judiciary based on the rule of law.

From Zambia, Koreen Etambuyu Mwenda-Zimba and Twambo Musonda, both judges at the High Court, gave lectures on the legal framework and practical challenges in the processing of cases and question of the available options for judges to optimise the duration of trials.

The German experience was provided by Dr. Tobias Oelsner, presiding judge at the Berlin Regional Court. He highlighted the possibility of settlement and alternative dispute resolution in the broader sense also within the courts, as a mechanism for speeding up the process. This topic aroused great interest among the participants and led to some intensive discussions.

Zambia has been a partner country of the IRZ in bilateral cooperation since 2023. An on-site needs assessment was also carried out in parallel with the workshop.