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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Personal liberty and judicial attitude: the Tanzanian case
Author:Lugakingira, K.S.K.
Periodical:Eastern Africa Law Review (ISSN 0012-8678)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
Subjects:civil and political rights
judicial system
human rights
Abstract:Theoretically, as well as constitutionally, the liberty of the subject is regarded as sacrosanct in Tanzania, but executive behaviour, aided by an authoritarian political structure and enabling repressive laws, has not lived up to the ideal. Under the Preventive Detention Act of 1962 any person can be detained without trial. This has provoked a spate of habeas corpus applications challenging the validity of detentions made under the Act. Faced with this situation, the attitude of the courts has been characterized by an ambivalence which reflects the idiosyncracies of the individual actors, evident, for example, in A.G. v. Lesinoi Ndeinai & Ors. (1980), Dhirani v. R. (1979), and Ali Yusuf Mrope (1977). Generally, however, the courts have taken personal liberty seriously. They have long realized that personal liberty may be denied under the cloak of a judicial sentence, and in the same spirit, the High Court has firmly intervened where prison authorities have sought to curtail the liberty of a detainee beyond the extent authorized by law, as in Samuel Kubeja v. R. (1981). Finally, the incorporation of a Bill of Rights into Tanzania's constitution in 1985 has stimulated a tide of judicial activism that offers promise for the future. Notes, ref.