At least 15 magistrates of all ranks serving the Justice System in various parts of Botswana are expected to converge in Gaborone on Saturday this week for an intensive half-day orientation workshop on the essentials of law applicable in cases of Domestic Violence in Botswana.
To give effect to the purpose of the workshop, the country’s renowned Chief Magistrate, Lot Moroka, is scheduled to present an overview of Botswana’s Domestic Violence Act, whilst other magistrates will be sharing their on-the-job experiences relating to cases of Domestic Violence.
Doris Kuwamba, Media and Advocacy Officer at Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), pointed out that the workshop, which is an initiative of her organization, aims to create and heighten awareness on the Domestic Violence Act.
“It is also our expectation that it should further equip the legal gurus with practical skills to enable them to apply and interpret the relevant laws with ease, when dealing with matters of domestic violence,” she said.
In addition, it stated that the workshop will be in line with BONELA’s mandate of empowering communities through training on issues relating to Human Rights.
“In future, we plan to organize similar training programs for lawyers and police officers as it has generally been observed that they do not bring the culprits before the courts in terms of the Act,” concluded Kuwamba, adding that it can only be presumed that ignorance of the Act accounts for this anomaly.
Lisa Vetten, an experienced litigation expert from a well-known advocacy organization in South Africa, will be the lead discussant as well as the facilitator of the day.
The preliminary arrangement for the event shows that Vetten will share on best practices, challenges and experiences.
Apparently, Botswana’s laws are premised on South African Law, whose law is based on Roman Dutch Law.