Administration of Justice (AOJ)
The Judiciary (Judicature)
Headquarters of the Judiciary
The headquarters of the Judiciary is in Lobatse. This is where the High Court and the Court of Appeal have their seat and the Judiciary is administered. The background of the Judiciary can be obtained from following link.
The Judiciary is established under the Constitution as an independent arm of Government. The head of the Judiciary is the Chief Justice. Under him are Judges, Registrars and Magistrates. Presently there are 16 Judges in the whole Country and 59 Magistrates. There are two divisions of the High Court i.e. Lobatse and Francistown. The third division is being established in the CBD area in Gaborone. Magistrates Courts operate in the following 20 centres; Gaborone, Ramotsowa, Mochudi, Molepolole, Mahalapye, Lobatse, Kanye, Jwaneng, Tsabong, Ghanzi, Maun, Masunga, Francistown, Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Serowe, Kasane and Letlhakane. Full details on addresses and contact numbers can be obtained by clicking this link.
Function of the Judiciary
The major function of the Judiciary is to interpret the law and to resolve disputes. Such disputes could be between citizen and citizen, a citizen and the state or other organizations. The Judiciary must also ensure that the other arms of government act according to the constitution through a review process of their decisions. Cases are brought to Court by the State in criminal cases and by the INDIVIDUALS in CIVIL cases. Cases in the High Court are heard by Judges or and in the Magistrates Courts by Magistrates. The jurisdictions of the Courts differ. The Court of Appeal is the highest and final court in the land. The High Court is a superior court of record and has unlimited jurisdiction to hear all criminal and civil cases that occur in Botswana. On the other hand, Magistrates’ Courts exercise jurisdiction as prescribed in the Magistrate Court Act (CAP 04-04). They do not have powers to hear cases attracting capital punishment like murder, treason, manslaughter, and attempts to commit to those offences. In civil cases they can hear claims of up to P40 000.