Zimbabwe will soon Livestream all court cases of national interest to augment transparency associated with courts as public institutions, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has said.
Speaking to diplomats and legal practitioners at the official opening of the 2020 Legal Year in Harare on Monday, the Chief Justice said the move will promote confidence in the justice system.
“It demonstrated our Judiciary’s commitment to upholding the values of transparency and accountability. In that case, I noted that live broadcast of court proceedings promotes transparency and public confidence in the justice system,” he said.
Courtrooms have been known to have limited seating capacity, citizens and litigants have limited time and resources to physically be present in court and the broadcasts address these issues.
“Few people are able to attend court proceedings at any given time, yet cases of public interest affect more than the litigants before the courts.
“They also affect the interests of a large section of society,” he said.
“One of the most common impediments is the location of the court. For instance, the Constitutional Court only sits in Harare, yet people from all corners of the country are invariably interested in the proceedings before that court.
“This results in operations of courts being considered as secretive by the public. As a result, the ordinary man and woman may view the decisions of the courts with suspicion.
The public has the opportunity to observe first-hand court proceedings as they unfold,” he said.
Live streaming of courtroom proceedings will amongst other benefits serve as legal-educational purposes for audiences as they are involved in all processes.