Q&A – 9 June 2014

Costs disallowed in Court

I appointed a European law firm which appointed a local counterpart in Tanzania for a dispute here. We spent a lot of money on litigation and won with an award of costs. I believe we are entitled to all legal costs but the Court has disallowed nearly half of the amount we asked for. We have submitted all relevant receipts and are quite shocked at this. Is this normal?
EV, Dar

The Advocates Remuneration and Taxation of Costs Rules apply when it comes to taxation. The Taxing Officer for the taxation of bills under these Rules is the Registrar of the High Court.

The Rules states that notwithstanding anything contained in these Rules, on every taxation, whether in respect of non-contentious matters or contentious proceedings, the Taxing Officer shall allow all such fees, costs, charges and expenses as shall appear to him to have been necessary and proper, but, save as against the party who incurred the same, no costs shall be allowed which appear to the Taxing Officer to have been incurred or increased through overcaution, negligence or mistake, or by payment of special charges or expenses to witnesses or other persons, or by other unusual expenses.

The Rules state that all bills of costs shall be taxed on the prescribed scale, unless a Judge of the High Court certifies on special grounds scale arising out of the nature and importance, or the difficulty, or urgency of the case that they are to be taxed on the higher scale. For example, in a contentious matter, the Advocate can charge 3% of the amount in question.

Please note that the rules further state that in business of exceptional importance or unusual complexity, an advocate shall be entitled to receive and shall be allowed as against his client, a special fee in addition to the remuneration prescribed in these Rules. Provided that in assessing the special fee regard shall be made to:
(a) the nature of the place and the
circumstances in which the business or part thereof is transacted;
(b) the nature and extent of the pecuniary or other interest involved;
(c) the nature and quality of labour and responsibility entailed;
(d) the number, complexity and importance of documents prepared or examined; or
(e) any other relevant circumstances that may exist.

Recruitment of fat police

Is there no minimum standard when the police force is recruiting officers. One of my friends who is totally unfit physically and weights over 180 kgs has been recruited. My other question is why do police officers behave so rudely, and is it necessary for a police officer to carry a gun when escorting a prisoner?
ED, Mtwara

Police General Orders (PGOs) dictate police behavior in general. The procedure used for recruitment of police officers is prescribed under the Police General Orders whereby reference is made to the age, education, physical fitness and criminal record.

It is true that an unfit police officer will be able to do little good on the streets, but you must realize not all police officers are on the field. Some of the current heads of police are even heavier and remain in the forces because they are involved mainly in desk work and strategy. Your friend might be recruited because of his expertise in a particular area, and before you complain to anyone, you should check.

The PGO also states that a police officer whether on or off duty is required to be courteous to the public and if a police officer is not courteous or is rude to any member of the public, action can be taken against him.

Furthermore, under the PGO, police officers escorting prisoners are expected to carry guns and they are also responsible for conveying the prisoners by police transport.

Amount to spend on Prospecting Licence

I went for renewal of my Prospecting Licence only to be told to submit with my application how much money I had spent on the PL area. This is the first time that I have been asked this. I also do not have any accounts as I am waiting for foreign investors to join hands with me. Are there any such minimum expenditure regulations?
WP, Dar

Section 30 of the Mining Act 2010 states that the amount per square kilometre which the holder of a prospecting licence shall expend annually on prospecting operations shall be prescribed and for that purpose the Regulations may prescribe different amounts in respect of prospecting licences for building materials and gemstones minerals groups from those for prospecting licences for metallic, energy, kimberlitic diamonds or industrial minerals group.

Furthermore, the Mining (Mineral Rights) Regulations clearly state that the prescribed amount where the prospecting licence is for all minerals other than gemstones and building materials, be- (a) in the case of the initial prospecting period an amount per square kilometre of five hundred US Dollars (US$ 500); (b) in the case of the first renewal period an amount per square kilometer of two thousand US Dollars (US$ 2000); in the case of the second renewal period amount per square kilometer of six thousand US Dollars (US$ 6000). (3) The prescribed amount for the purpose of sub-regulations (1) shall in the case of a prospecting licence for building materials be an amount per square kilometer of hundred US Dollars (US$ 100). (4)The prescribed amount for the purpose of sub-regulation (1) shall in the case of a prospecting licence for gemstones be an amount per square kilometer of two hundred and fifty US Dollars (US$ 250).

It is clear that the amounts stated above are mandatory, and failure to spend such amounts can result in your PL not being renewed as you will be in breach of the minimum expenditure requirement. Your advisors can guide you further.