Judegment Day At The High Court London

Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tanzania. Living up to Cicero?

William Ewart Gladstone

Responsible for the Corrupt Practices Act 1883

Marcus Tullius Cicero
January 3, 106 BC - December 7, 43 BC
Statesman and Lawyer

Cicero on the Universal Nature of True Law
(circa 52 B.C.)
(emphasis added)

''There in fact a true law - namely, right reason - which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men, and is unchangeable and eternal. By its commands this law summons men to the performance of their duties; by its prohibitions it restrains them from doing wrong. Its commands and prohibitions always influence good men, but are without effect upon the bad. To invalidate this law by human legislation is never morally right, nor is it permissible ever to restrict its operation , and to annul it wholly is impossible. Neither the senate nor the people can absolve us from our obligation to obey this law, and it requires no Sextus Aelius to expound and interpret it. It will not lay down one rule at Rome and another at Athens, nor will it be one rule to-day and another tomorrow. But there will be one law, eternal and unchangeable, binding at all times upon all peoples''

 Mohamed Chande Othman
 Chief Justice of Tanzania

 Vows to enhance professionalism and adherence to codes of conduct by judges and magistrates and will fight to ensure that court cases are determined fairly and promptly 

IPP Media, The Guardian Editor states:

''Few are unfamiliar with the conditions in which Tanzania’s judicial system has been operating or the achievements made in improving matters, with a view to living up to the expectations of the likes of Gladstone.....Ancient Roman lawyer, writer, scholar, orator and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero is meanwhile credited with having once said: “The more laws, the less justice.” What Cicero possibly meant was that what mattered most was not the number of laws drawn up or enacted but rather the extent to which they were effected and observed''

To liken Cicero's law to Tanzanian law is indeed a repugnant suggestion. Law is about action as much as words. Many are familiar with the Silverdale Farm case in Tanzania where the judiciary have been used and abused in a manner that protects the nepotistic interest of Benjamin Mengi and his criminal efforts to steal the leas to Silverdale and Mbono Farms from British investors. Where the courts have been used as a constant source of abuse and harassment against the investors. Where Mengi openly declares that the 'police and the judiciary are in my hands' and that 'I am black and you are white'and the police take notice only of me'

What Cicero's said was:

''But there will be one law, eternal and unchangeable, binding at all times upon all peoples''
Tanzanian fails on these fundamantal points, an indictent indeed given the passage of time from the date they were spoken!

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