LSB and AoJ Showdown


  • LSB wants to engage with AoJ over judicial crisis
  • CJ mum on boycott of Legal Year ceremony


The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) is hopeful that its boycott of the Legal Year ceremony, which is organised by the Department of Administration of Justice (AoJ), will trigger some urgent intervention in the judicial crisis in the country.


The boycott came to pass on Tuesday when most of LSB members attended a parallel engagement.

Boycotting the official ceremony and holding a parallel event was in protest against the failure of the AoJ to address some of the concerns raised by LSB.

Dysfunctional Case Management System

According to the Chairperson of LSB, Osego Garebamono, the concerns include delays in payment of pro deo fees, issuance of default judgments, shortage of stationery at High Courts, delays in delivering judgments, a dysfunctional Case Management System, and collapse of the roll system.

“The only way of ensuring that our judiciary is an unsinkable ship is if it enjoys independence and is well-resourced because without these, it will founder,” he said.


He disclosed that several attempts to engage with Chief Justice Terrance Rannowane have proved futile because he is usually said to be unavailable.

The Vice Chairperson of LSB, Mboki Chilisa, has also emphasised that it was imperative for the AoJ to give the matter the attention it needs.

“This is a historic event but not for the right reasons,” Chilsa said. “We strongly believe that things cannot continue the way they have been going over the past couple of months.”

Other remedies

He noted that should the AoJ continue to drag its feet in the face of the issues raised, they will be compelled to seek other remedies. “We will have to meet again as members and decide on a way forward.”

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Rannowane seemed to be unperturbed by the absence of most members of LSB during his speech at the Legal Year ceremony in which made no mention of the matter.

Instead, his concern was what he described as continued attacks on the judiciary, particularly those propagated through the media and social media platforms.

Respect and integrity

Expressing concern about the lack of a platform for judicial officers to defend themselves against such attacks, he emphasised the need for respect and integrity in discussions regarding the judiciary.

The Chief Justice took the opportunity to address, among others, the issue of forum shopping, criticising what he described as a growing tendency by some parties to seek judges of their choice for their cases.

He acknowledged the challenges posed by this practice but said solutions are being sought to address the matter effectively.

“We recognise the issue of forum shopping where parties seek judges of their choice,” he said. “Rest assured that we are actively working to find solutions to this problem.”