oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The history and development of the rule-making power in the courts of Botswana and suggested reform

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The article discusses the history and development of the rule-making power in the courts of Botswana. During the Protectorate period the rule-making power was largely vested in the High Commissioner, a colonial administrator. Later, when the power was transferred to a judicial officer, the rules were still subject to the High Commissioner's approval. It was not until after independence that the rule-making power vested solely in the Chief justice and the President of the Court of Appeal. It is mentioned in the article that these judicial officers exercise legislative power in that the Rules of Court they make under the authority conferred on them by parliament have the force of law. These powers are extensive. It is suggested that rule-making power be diffused to include representatives of all branches of the judiciary, the legal profession, and the universities. This approach has been followed in other jurisdictions, as shown in the article.

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