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Legal Digest – June 2016

lawyers tanzania
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.

Media Services Law in Pipeline

The government is finalising the process of enacting the Media Services Law that will provide a framework to govern media activities in the country. The Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports said in Parliament that enactment of the Media Services Law would contribute to the improvement of the management of media activities in Tanzania.

TPDC warned the public to avoid purchasing any portions of the above land as it is exclusively earmarked for the LNG project and is under the ownership of TPDC.

Review of foreign loans starts

It was announced last month that a team of experts has been formed to compile reports of transactions that companies make with non-residents in areas of equity and in all types of foreign loans including trade credits and advances. The team comprises of senior officials from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC). The statement further read that the institutions are mandated by law to collect the information.

New Film Industry Law to be enacted

A new legislation for the film industry is in the offing, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, has announced. The new law would be enacted after the formulation of a policy for the sector slated for the forthcoming 2016/2017 financial year. The planned reforms aim to, among other things, protect copyrights of artistic works by local artistes, including film makers and musicians.

World Bank Approve USD 65M Credit To Improve Tanzania Justice Services And Boost Economic Development

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), approved in April 2016 a credit of USD 65M for the Tanzania Citizen-Centric Judicial Modernization and Justice Service Delivery Project which aims at improving the efficiency and transparency of, and access to, selected citizen-centric justice services. The new project responds to Tanzania’s Development Vision 2025 and the Judiciary Strategic Plan 2015–2020, part of the government’s aim to improve peoples’ lives by enhancing the business and investment environment, increasing transparency and reducing poverty.

The Judiciary Strategic Plan contributes to national priorities by supporting improvements in service delivery and increasing access to justice, the World Bank (WB) indicates. According to WB’s Doing Business 2016, which provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 189 economies, in Tanzania it takes 515 days to resolve a commercial dispute, while in Singapore it takes only 150 days.

Around the World

Switzerland voters reject universal basic income plans
Swiss voters rejected a plan that would provide all citizens with a guaranteed basic income. The proposal called for all adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, regardless of need. Many of those who supported the proposal suggested a monthly income of 2500 Swiss francs for every adult and 625 francs for every child. However, the results of the vote showed that almost 77 percent of the population opposed the plan.

EU court adviser: employers may ban headscarves in workplace
A legal adviser to the European Court of Justice issued an opinion finding that an employer may ban an employee from wearing a headscarf for religious purposes. Written by Advocate General Juliane Kokott the opinion holds that “If the ban is based on a general company rule which prohibits political, philosophical and religious symbols from being worn visibly in the workplace, such a ban may be justified if it enables the employer to pursue the legitimate policy of ensuring religious and ideological neutrality.”

9th Circuit strikes copyright suit against Madonna
Madonna was sued for plagiarism over her 1990 hit “Vogue,” but a federal appellate court has sided with the pop icon after finding that the lawsuit had nothing to it.

About a time when a boxer tested the rule of law
When Mohammed Ali died this month, the TV news rolled continuous tributes to this black man who grew up in a segregated South, elevated his voice through success in the brutal sport of boxing and with that voice took positions, both in the courts and through his First Amendment Rights, that challenged the government and even the boxing establishment which banned him during his prime. While Ali will be remembered for many things, many will never forget that he was an American who benefited from the rule of law and aggressively tested its fabric.

Supreme court affirms random stop-and-search

Britain’s highest court in the land has given strong backing to the use of random stop-and-search powers to tackle gun and knife crime and gang violence.

Critics have said the UK’s legal powers have been used disproportionately by police against black people, but five supreme court justices emphasised the capability for saving lives.

The court held that there was a risk that a random, “suspicionless”, power of stop-and-search could be used in an arbitrary and discriminate manner in individual cases. But the deputy president of the supreme court, Lady Hale, sitting with Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson and Lord Hodge, ruled that there were adequate safeguards in place and that there were “great benefits to the public in such a power”, particularly to the black community.

Supreme court affirms random stop-and-search

Britain’s highest court in the land has given strong backing to the use of random stop-and-search powers to tackle gun and knife crime and gang violence.

Critics have said the UK’s legal powers have been used disproportionately by police against black people, but five supreme court justices emphasised the capability for saving lives.

The court held that there was a risk that a random, “suspicionless”, power of stop-and-search could be used in an arbitrary and discriminate manner in individual cases. But the deputy president of the supreme court, Lady Hale, sitting with Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson and Lord Hodge, ruled that there were adequate safeguards in place and that there were “great benefits to the public in such a power”, particularly to the black community.

China anti-counterfeiting agents make many of the fakes themselves – report

Multinational corporations doing business in China face a losing battle when it comes to keeping copies of their products off the market, with anti-counterfeiting investigators either collaborating with producers of the fake goods, or copying the goods themselves, according to a report.

The Associated Press said it had found that anti-counterfeiting investigators were widely involved in copying products of their own western customers so they could claim bounties for “seizing” them.

China anti-counterfeiting agents make many of the fakes themselves – report

Multinational corporations doing business in China face a losing battle when it comes to keeping copies of their products off the market, with anti-counterfeiting investigators either collaborating with producers of the fake goods, or copying the goods themselves, according to a report.

The Associated Press said it had found that anti-counterfeiting investigators were widely involved in copying products of their own western customers so they could claim bounties for “seizing” them.