The National Prosecution Authority (NPA, with the support of the Irish rules of law has established the Mobile Courts Model.
This would handle anti-money laundering cases in collaboration with the judiciary.
The establishment of the Mobile Courts Model was to alleviate congestion in correctional facilities by conducting court sessions within prison premises.
The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Director-General, Nason Banda, and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, witnessed the signing of the agreement on the establishment of Mobile Courts on Monday in Lusaka.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Phiri noted that the decision represented a groundbreaking initiative in justice for Zambia.
He said the outcome of the mobile courts was also expected to enhance the Zambian legal framework.
“This is also meant to help DEC in fast-tracking and handling the pending court cases, thereby improving the Commission’s operation,” Phiri added.
He stated that the NPA recognised the pervasive issue of prison overcrowding, which compromised the very fabric of Zambia’s justice system.
Phiri noted that the congestion within the correctional facilities impedes the expeditious administration of justice and compromised the living conditions of those awaiting trial.
“The gravity of the problem demands collective action and collaboration to make a substantial impact,” the DPP said.
He said the Mobile Courts initiative was a strategic intervention designed to expedite legal proceedings.
Phiri stated that this would also ensure that bail applications and setting of hearing dates are dealt with swiftly while reducing the strain on our correctional facilities.
“By having courts move to the correctional facilities and conducting hearings therein, straightforward issues such as bail applications, varying conditions for bail, setting of hearing dates can be heard promptly, thereby having a tremendous impact on preventing unnecessary over detention,” he said.
The DPP stated that the Mobile Court Model provided a timely response to prison overcrowding by bringing justice close to the inmates and ensuring that unnecessary over-detention is mitigated.
Phiri emphasized that the model was especially important to needy persons who may not have recourse to legal representation.
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