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Court Efficiency and Access to Justice

Court Efficiency

Author: Tinenenji Banda

Access to justice is not just a fundamental right in itself; it is also an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights. Access to the courts promotes stability and political liberalization, allowing all segments of the population the opportunity to seek redress under the law. This is especially important for vulnerable groups that rely on the justice system to protect and enforce their rights.

While access to justice has many components, the speed with which litigants can have their case disposed of is an important justice indicator. While there is wide-spread belief that the courts are inefficient, the evidence of this inefficiency is largely anecdotal and impressionistic. There is very little, if any, empirical data on the performance of Zambian courts.

This project seeks to address this gap and examine how efficiently the courts dispense justice and how ordinary citizens seeking legal remedies interface with the judicial system. It is hoped that research findings can inform the development of norms and standards that can facilitate sound case management models and accountability. This study resists the common penchant to lay all the blame for court delay at the doorsteps of the judiciary. Taking a multi-dimensional approach, the study shows that the courts are in the unhappy story of court delay and congestion.


Additional Information



  • Paper

  • IAD/CSP Book Series

Publication Details

Publication Year: 2020

Publication Number: Spring 2020, No 17

ISBN: 978-1-7344934-0-5