Friday, July 12, 2024

Industrial Court to introduce bailiffs to enforce court orders

For now at least, an Industrial Court order is something that one too many employers can choose to ignore, secure in the knowledge that enforcement is tedious, tortuous and in some cases fruitless. A revelation by the new Industrial Court Registrar, Tefo Bogosi, strongly suggests that could come to an end if a proposal that he will table before the powers-that-be during this financial year is approved.

Appearing before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee for the just-concluded hearings, Bogosi revealed that a plan to introduce court bailiffs in the Industrial Court system is being put together. 

In the American legal system, a bailiff is an officer in a court of law who helps the judge control people in the courtroom but in the British system – which Botswana uses – a bailiff brings legal documents to debtors and takes away possessions when those debtors cannot pay for their debts. In the Botswana case, such responsibilities are currently being discharged by deputy sheriffs. While regulated by the Master and Registrar of the High Court, deputy sheriffs work in the private sector and fall outside government supervision. In terms of the plan that Bogosi outlined to the PAC, the Industrial Court will hire its own staff that it can supervise.

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