History of LRCT

In 1974 the Government of Tanzania established a Judicial System Review Commission under the able chairmanship of Mr. Pius Msekwa, to conduct a wide-ranging review of the legal system and to recommend changes to improve the administration of justice. In 1977 the Msekwa commission as it is now known, reported to the government and recommended sweeping changes in the judicial system. It also made pertinent comments on the need for long term planning to keep the law attuned to the changing conditions of Tanzanian society. In its report the commission made these important observations.

The proposal that we made in this report for remedial action can only be but stop gap and temporary measures, for if measures are not followed up by long term plans for keeping the law constantly attuned to the changing conditions in the economic, cultural, educational and political fields of our society, the law is bound again to fall into desuetude and a state of decay. No law which is not constantly nourished with new ideas can be an effective instrument for revolutionary change in any society. Such a law will sooner than later become a mere irrelevance to society. We feel that in order to redress past neglect of the law and to ensure constant mobilisation of law in the task of development, there is a need to establish an independent body which will maintain a constant monitor over the administration and operation of the law with a view to the maintenance of its relevance to changing times and conditions and to report on any breakdown or threatened breakdown so that remedial measures can be timely applied.

The commission accordingly made the following recommendation.

” We recommend that sustained efforts be made to reform the laws so as to bring them to fit our present socio-economic circumstances and aspirations. Such an exercise should involve a study and reform of the philosophy underlying the various laws. It is trite to observe that our society has since independence undergone vast changes in the political, social cultural and economic fields as to call for a new statutory legal institution that will give new dimensions to the existing law, new principles, new remedies, new machinery and find new men to meet the challenges of the law as our society strives to meet the expectations of every citizen, under the principles of Ujamaa and self-reliance. Such a challenging task can in our view only be more meaningful and more economical if undertaken by one agency. We recommend therefore the establishment of a permanent Law Reform Commission.”

This recommendation was implemented by the passage by parliament of the Law Reform commission of Tanzania Act, 1980, being Act number 11. (See Full text of Law Reform Act and Regulations) The Commission itself was formed in 1981 but it started to function officially on the 21st October 1983.

  1. Hon. Justice Damian Lubuva- from 1984 to 1985. Justice Lubuva is now Chairman of the National Electrol Commission (NEC);
  2. Hon. Justice (rtd) Hamisi Msumi- from 1986 – 1990;
  3. Hon. Justice (rtd) Raymond Mwaikasu- from 1991 to 1995;
  4. The Late Hon. Judge (rtd) Anthony Bahati- from 1995 to 2006;
  5. Hon. Justice Ibrahim H. Juma- from 2007 to 2013.
  6. Hon. Judge Aloysius Mujulizi from March 2013 to May 2017

Secretary of the Commission is the chief executive officer responsible to the Commission for the day to day operations and the management of the records of the Commission. Several distinguished public officers have served as Commission Secretary during the past twenty five

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