Zimbabwe introduces live streaming to court cases

Live streaming of court cases
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

Due to issues arising from court cases, the Zimbabwean judiciary will introduce live streaming to court cases. This streaming will attract both national and public interest and will be at the constitutional court beginning from 2020. This initiative will help to promote accountability and transparency in the country. Members of the public will also know what’s happening in the courtroom and this move will be very important for the country.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba said in his address revealed that the live streaming of the 2018 presidential election petition geared the innovation. He also insisted that the idea will inspire confidence in the functioning of the judiciary. There are also moves to make this a permanent feature.

“The most-watched court case that was streamed live in recent times was the August 2018 election petition by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Zanu-PF, which was unanimously thrown out by all nine Constitutional Court judges for lack of evidence,” said Malaba.

Other nations with a similar initiative

In 2018, India’s Supreme Court pushed for transparency in court sittings. They pushed to allow live streaming of court cases of constitutional importance in delivering greater accountability in court cases. South Africa at the discretion of the judges will also allow televising and live-streaming of court proceedings. The media can now take recordings of court proceedings inside the courtrooms and televise the proceedings after the presiding judge’s permission.

Before most Asian nation cases in air pollution, environmental issues, ban on firecrackers, ban on liquor sales near national highways, and extrajudicial killings don’t need streaming. But now, the court has made it important that they’re handled in courts with a live stream. Many African nations have not implemented this development as media, the general public, and lawyers are still expected to drop their phones at the reception on entering the courtroom.

Effect of the initiative

This initiative also helps to enhance the transparency of the judiciary and increase accessibility to courtrooms. Many countries across the world have allowed video recording which can be published in a few days. Others have permitted various recordings of court hearings. While some have the permission for live streaming of court proceedings.

It will encourage the principle of open, reduce dependence in secondhand information, and effectuate the public’s right to know the information at hand. Zimbabwe has begun working on its economic situation to solve its current economic crisis. And this is one of the best ways to move the country forward. Allowing public access to various court proceedings is a way of showing transparency between the people and the judiciary system.

Judiciary transparency helps to further public accountability. Corruption of the judicial system fuels impunity, lack of public trust, and corrodes rule of law. The initiative will also improve the functioning of the court system in Zimbabwe. It will decrease fraud, decrease public misperception, reduce transaction costs, and increase public confidence.

This step also provides virtual access to courtroom proceedings making the process more appealing. Live streaming promises to provide optimal security and privacy. The content will be of high quality, excellent for easy monetization. Its operation will be smooth and convenient. And the will be supported on multiple devices like PCs, Smartphones, Laptops, and more.

Advantage of the initiative

The platform also allows the court concept to be documented exactly as it happens. And it eliminates any delay in the disbursing of vital information. Entrepreneurs can also customize a logo for their choice on live stream and create a personal website to let users view streamed cases.
This initiative also helps in enhancing the education system of the country. As students will no longer find it difficult to access court cases for assignment and more.

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