Wednesday, January 26, 2022

‘Shortage of lawyers hits Govt’ – Molokome

The Attorney General has reiterated that Botswana continues to suffer from a serious shortage of experienced lawyers with areas relating to cyber crime and corruption hardest hit.
The shortage is so dire that it has affected the turnaround time with some cases taking a long time to be solved.
Attorney General, Athalia Molokome, made this revelation on Monday when addressing the media.
“We have a serious shortage of lawyers with a certain level of experience, young law graduates cannot fill in the gape because they don’t have enough know-how,” said Dr. Molokome.
She said the major challenge they have is that some lawyers work for government only to acquire experience before joining the private sector or parastatals that offer better remuneration. She however added that the Chambers is on a continuous recruitment mode.
Cyber and corruption crimes are on the surge in Botswana.
Responding to an issue regarding the extradition treaty and bi-lateral investigation with China, Molokome said currently Botswana does not have an extradition treaty with China.
There have been reports that Chinese nationals escape justice in Botswana since there no arrangements that provide for either country to carry out investigations into suspected activity of corruption in the other’s jurisdiction
“We are currently in talks with Chinese Ambassador and so far it looks promising. I’m hopeful that the talks will conclude with signing the treaty,” said Dr. Molokome.
For the 2012/2013 financial year, the AG chambers performance was quite impressive as they have experienced some improvements, Dr. Molokome said.
For the period under review, under the criminal and civil service, the AG chambers achieved 94 percent against a target of 90 percent. The time taken to conclude the civil cases fell within the 18 months range while for criminal cases they fell to 22 months. Under legislation drafting 73 percent of the bills were made into laws without any errors.
“Our performance shows that we have improved, however we are working hard to improve on our turnaround time,” she said.
The Legal Aid that was introduced in 2011 had received various applications with family law matters that are divorce, maintenance, domestic violence, custody making up the largest group.

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