Local time: Wednesday, 17 July 2019 01:47:19hrs
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Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
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TRIAL OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES

TRIAL OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES

1.     SERVICE DESCRIPTION

Customary courts (dikgotla) handle about 80% of both criminal and civil cases in the country. This is as a consequence of the fact that customary courts are easily accessible to all residents of Botswana. In addition to that, customary courts provide a cheaper route to dispensing timely and reasonable standard of justice. This is because the use of attorneys is not allowed in customary courts. Furthermore, the use of Interpreters affords those who do not comprehend Setswana to be able to conduct their defense during trials at customary courts.

2.      HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS SERVICE?

If a civil matter failed to be arbitrated successfully by a Headman of Arbitration (Kgosana yo o letlanyang) at ward level, the aggrieved party can approach a customary court within his/her jurisdiction with his/her complaint. The Clerk of Court will interview the complainant to establish if the nature of the complaint is civil or criminal and advise the complainant accordingly. The complainant’s case will then be registered and s/he will be informed in due course about the date of the hearing of the case by way of summons (civil or criminal) when the trial will commence.

3.      HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE SERVICE? 

  • Approach a customary court within your jurisdiction with your complaint
  • Valid Omang
  •  Current full details i.e. residential and postal address, place of work
  • Full details of the defendant, and
  • Nature of civil suit 

4.       WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION?

Further information on these services can be obtained from across all customary courts in Botswana

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