• Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Soon, a seat will be composed by a single judge


Feb 23, 2023

GITEGA February 23rd (ABP) – Under the aegis of the President of the Senate, Mr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera, the Senators met in plenary session on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at the hemicycle of Gitega (center of the country). They analyzed and unanimously passed the draft law amending law no. 1/08 of March 17, 2005 on the code of judicial organization and competence.

The Minister of Justice, Mrs. Domine Banyankimbona, who was the guest of the day, said that the Burundian judicial organization reveals bottlenecks and blocking factors compromising the overall efficiency of the system, despite the major reforms of the judicial organization and competence operated in 1987 and in 2005 which, notwithstanding, did not achieve the expected objectives for the advent of equal justice for all, closer to plaintiffs, faster and more accessible.

For that reason, according to her, the institutionalization of the single judge in the composition of the bench and in decision-making constitutes one of the main innovations of that bill, but that there are matters where the bench is remained collegiate. These include social and commercial matters as well as criminal matters in the event of a crime. The other innovation brought by that law is that the judgments rendered by the high courts in land matters or on disputes of a value not exceeding ten million Burundian francs are not admissible in cassation, she said.

The Minister in charge of justice also indicated to the senators that this bill orders a new reconstitution of the file in the event of disappearance of the judicial file or of certain constituent parts of the file, which was not the case for the code under review. She pointed out that this is done after having recourse to the parties, especially since they are the ones who hold the copies of the various constituent parts of the file.

According to Mrs. Banyankimbona, the present draft law does not provide for compensation for the plaintiffs who are victims of the disappearance of the file because, she says, the civil code book III provides for this matter in article 258 which essentially provides that any fact whatsoever of whoever causes damage to another obliges the offender to repair it.

                                                       Members of the senate office passing the bill

The senators, in their interventions, wanted to know what the ministry in charge of justice advocates doing so that the judicial sector always remains close to the population, taking into account that, soon, the number of communes and provinces will decrease. Here, Minister Banyankimbona promised the senators that the judicial sector will always remain close to the population despite the reduction in those territorial entities. She also pointed out that the present bill recommends in its article 9 that the courts and tribunals are created by a decree which also determines their number, their jurisdiction and their ordinary seat.

The Minister reminded the senators that the council of village or quarter notables is a quasi-jurisdictional body very close to the population. It should be noted that after a session of answers to the questions that the senators addressed to the Minister in charge of justice, they unanimously passed (39 out of 39) the bill amending Law No. 1/08 of 17 March 2005 on the code of judicial organization and competence.