- Introduction to Adjudicative/Judicial Powers in Tanzania
- Definition of Administrative Tribunals
- Other names for/of Administrative Tribunals
- Types and Examples of Administrative Tribunals in Tanzania
- Legal basis of Administrative Tribunals in Tanzania
- Ordinary Courts v/s Administrative Tribunals
- Inherent features of Administrative Tribunals
- Why Administrative Tribunals? (Advantages)
- Criticism of Administrative Tribunals (Disadvantages)
- Thakker (Takwani, 1998)
- Supreme Court of India, 1954.
- L.B. Curzon, Dictionary of Law, 6th Ed., 2002 (Pearson/Longman).
- Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Ed., 2001.
- E.W. Susan, Law Dictionary, 2006 (Webster's New World Law Dictionary).
- They are known as administrative tribunals because as opposed to ordinary courts, these bodies are composed and chaired by lay administrators (normally, non-lawyers) who are either appointees' of the President or Minister for a fixed term.
- They are referred to as quasi-judicial bodies since they are not full-fledged courts (i.e. not courts of law properly so called, they have supplemental/complementally role to the Courts).
- They are called statutory tribunals simply because they are creations of the statute.
(b) Statutory Tribunals:
- Military Tribunal (Court Martial),
- The Tax Revenue Appeals Board,
- The Environmental Appeals Tribunal,
- The Fair Competition Tribunal,
- The District Land and Housing Tribunal,
- The Ward Tribunal and etc.Legal basis of Administrative Tribunals in Tanzania
of Tanzania (supra) is silent as to the delegation of judicial powers to other organs of the state. However, by implication (not expressly provided) Article 13(6)(a) of the Constitution of Tanzania (supra) and Article 12(6)(a) of the Constitution
of Zanzibar (supra) recognise tribunals. The said Articles require "the Court" and "other agency" to take into account the principle of fair hearing in deciding disputes. Thus, one may argue that the term, "other agency" refers to administrative tribunals. All in all, it should be noted that administrative tribunals originates from respective Acts of the Parliament.
- Both are adjudicative machineries (i.e. invested with judicial powers).
- Both are governed by Acts of Parliaments.
- Both have permanent existence.
- All courts are tribunals but not all tribunals are courts.
- Courts are part and parcel of the judiciary while tribunals are considered part of the executive (i.e. they have hybrid functions).
- Essentially, Courts have unlimited powers to adjudicate, but tribunals have limited adjudicative powers.
- Courts handle disputes objectively, while tribunals deal with disputes subjectively.
- Courts can decide the 'vires' (constitutionality/legality/fairness) of a legislation/law, but tribunals can not do so.
- Courts are presided over by officers trained in law, while most of tribunals are chaired and composed of laymen.
- Administrative tribunals are constituted by Acts of the Parliament (and not by Government) i.e. tribunals are statutory creatures'
- Decisions of administrative tribunals are judicial rather than administrative. Tribunals decide on legal issues, in so doing, they confer or restrain rights to individuals.
- Administrative tribunals do not deal with cases in which a government is a party. They adjudicate disputes between businessmen, employer/employee, landlord/tenant, and etc.
- Administrative tribunals are not bound by strict rules of procedures, evidences and other legal technicalities.
- They have judicial powers (e.g. to summon witnesses, pass legally enforceable decisions and etc).
- Use of administrative tribunals avoids floodgate of cases in courts of law (i.e. reduce court's workload/congestion of cases in courts of law).
- Administrative tribunals have required expertise, specialty, and experience in their filed of operations, e.g. Doctors disciplinary bodies/tribunals. Disputes are dealt with persons with an intimate knowledge and experience of the problems involved.
- They avoid legal technicalities/legalistic approach over disputes. Courts are very conservative, rigid and technical, e.g.
precedent, stare decisis, rules of procedures, evidences, pleadings (use of legalese and legal documents and etc. They are characterised by an informal atmosphere and procedure.
- Ensures effective implementation of socio-economic policies and schemes found in the statute.Summary:Cheapness, accessibility, flexibility (freedom from technicalities), expeditious, expertise, and efficiencyCriticism of Administrative Tribunals (Disadvantages)
- The practice violates the principle of separation of powers. The main challengers of the use of administrative tribunals are professor Dicey (rule of law), and Montesquieu (separation of powers).
- They have wide discretion thus making their decisions uncertain or unpredictable.
- The right to appeal is not always guaranteed. Normally, statutes establishing administrative have phrases such as, "the decision shall be final and conclusive", "the decision shall not be appealable", "the decision shall not be subjected to judicial review", and etc. Such kinds of provisions have come to be known as "ouster clauses", "finality clauses", "protective clauses" or "preclusive clauses".
- They are not always independent of the government influences. For example, Officers of the Ministry may form part of the panel/quorum, and usually members of the tribunals are appointees of the President or Minister.
- In practice, administrative tribunals violates rules of natural justice i.e. they pass decisions without; giving reasons, hearing all parties, or adjudicates in matters that they have interest, or abdicate/sub-delegate their judicial powers to other agencies or person/s.
- Tribunals are manned by laymen and thus advocates are not allowed to appear.
- Subordination of the ordinary courts of law.
- Show the differences between "administrative tribunals", "commission of inquiry" and "disciplinary committees".
- Name and explain any ten (10) administrative tribunals in Tanzania.
Wade (1998) Administrative Law. (Law KD 4879. W3). **Read, pp. 776-824.