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Journalist takes Zimbabwe's Judicial Service Commission to task

by Staff reporter
04 Oct 2023 at 06:23hrs | Views
A Zimbabwean journalist employed by Alpha Media Holdings, Desmond Chingarande, has lodged a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) regarding its newly introduced electronic system, the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS). This system is designed to facilitate the digital handling of court cases.

Chingarande, through his lawyer Dr. Innocent Maja of Maja and Associates Legal Practitioners, submitted a letter to the JSC on October 2, 2023, expressing concerns about the limitations of the digital system. He argued that the IECMS restricts access to court proceedings and documents, preventing accredited journalists from covering and reporting on them effectively.

The journalist pointed out that the digital system, unlike the previous open court proceedings, only allows access for the parties involved in the dispute and court officials. Chingarande contended that this limitation infringes upon his right to a fair, public hearing and trial, as well as his journalistic privilege to inquire, gather, receive, and disseminate information, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

He requested that the JSC make provisions for accredited journalists to open IECMS accounts, enabling them to follow court proceedings and access filed court documents. Alternatively, Chingarande proposed that the JSC provide accredited journalists with links to the IECMS platform so they can observe court proceedings digitally and request court documents.

Chingarande also suggested that court hearings could be live-streamed on accessible streaming platforms to ensure transparency and uphold the right to public access to court proceedings and documents.

Chingarande gave the JSC until October 6, 2023, to respond to his concerns and address the issues raised regarding media access to court proceedings and documents through the IECMS platform.

Source - newzimbabwe
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