Strengthening the arm of the law through judicial training – TRAFFI
Magistrates and prosecutors, including law enforcement officers and wildlife management officers adjudicating over wildlife crimes from across Tanzania met last month as part of a programme to strengthen the judicial, prosecutorial and investigative sectors in the fight against wildlife crime.
The meeting was held under the banner of Strengthening Legal Mechanisms to Combat Wildlife Crime – it marked the beginning of a comprehensive programme to strengthen Tanzania’s judiciary.
Poaching and associated crime continue to take a major toll on the wildlife in many parts of Africa, affecting not only wildlife, but also damaging communities, local economies and the rule of law. In several countries, weaknesses and loopholes in wildlife laws and law enforcement provide inadequate deterrents, while prosecuting wildlife crime is not a priority for many of the decision makers controlling implementation of environmental laws through the police, Customs and judicial authorities.
The result is a low conviction rate and weak penalties for wildlife crime. These problems are compounded by cross-border challenges such as the lack of harmonization of wildlife laws.