CHAPTER 11
MAGISTRATES' COURTS ACT

 

[PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION]

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

   Section

 

Title

 

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

   1.   Short title

 

   2.   Interpretation.

 

 

 

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT, CONSTITUTION AND SET UP OF MAGISTRATES' COURTS

 

   3.   Primary courts.

 

   4.   District courts.

 

   5.   Courts of a resident magistrate.

 

   6.   Constitution of magistrates' courts.

 

   7.   Assessors.

 

   8.   Liability to serve as assessor in magistrates' courts, exemptions, etc.

 

   9.   Regulations for the purposes of assessors in courts.

 

   10.   Places and times of sitting and distribution of business .

 

   11.   Registers and returns.

 

   12.   Seals and stamps.

 

   13.   Language of courts.

 

   14.   Magistrates to sit in open court.

 

   15.   Appointment of resident magistrates-in-charge and appropriate judicial authorities.

 

   16.   Appointment of honorary magistrates.

 

   17.   Establishment of special traffic courts.

 

 

 

PART III
JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF, AND APPEALS ETC., FROM PRIMARY COURTS

 

(a) Jurisdiction and Powers

 

   18.   Jurisdiction of primary courts.

 

   19.   Powers, practice and procedure.

 

 

 

(b) Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction of District Courts

 

   20.   Appeals from primary courts.

 

   21.   Powers of district courts.

 

   22.   Revisional jurisdiction.

 

   23.   Jurisdiction over offenders committed for sentence by primary courts.

 

   24.   General provisions on appeals to, revision by, and committal for sentence to, district courts.

 

 

 

(c) Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction of the High Court in Relation to Matters Originating in Primary Courts

 

   25.   Appeals, etc., from district courts in their appellate and revisional jurisdiction.

 

   26.   Powers of registrars.

 

   27.   Composition of High Court on appeal.

 

   28.   Power to reject appeals summarily.

 

   29.   Powers of High Court on appeal.

 

   30.   Supervision.

 

   31.   Revision.

 

   32.   General provisions on appeal to, and revision by, the High Court.

 

 

 

(d) Miscellaneous

 

   33.   Appearance on behalf of parties in primary courts.

 

   34.   Presence of parties at hearing of appeals and revisional proceedings.

 

   35.   Presence of parties at hearing of civil appeals.

 

   36.   Abatement of appeals on death.

 

   37.   Substantial justice to be done without undue regard to technicalities.

 

   38.   Service of process.

 

   39.   Execution of orders and process of other courts.

 

 

 

PART IV
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF, AND APPEALS, ETC., FROM DISTRICT COURTS AND COURTS OF A RESIDENT MAGISTRATE

 

(a) Original Jurisdiction and Powers

 

   40.   Original jurisdiction of district courts.

 

   41.   Original jurisdiction of courts of resident magistrates.

 

   42.   Powers, practice and procedure in original jurisdiction.

 

 

 

(b) Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction, etc., of the High Court in Relation to Proceedings Originating in District Courts and Courts of Resident Magistrates

 

   43.   Appeals, revision, etc.

 

   44.   Additional powers of supervision and revision.

 

   45.   Minister may confer extended appellate jurisdiction on resident magistrate.

 

 

 

(c) Miscellaneous

 

   46.   Application.

 

 

 

PART V
TRANSFERS

 

   47.   Transfer from primary courts.

 

   48.   Transfer to primary courts.

 

   49.   Additional provisions.

 

   50.   Saving of transfers under other laws.

 

 

 

PART VI
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE AND ADDITIONAL POWERS OF PRIMARY COURT MAGISTRATES

 

(a) Appointment and Powers of Justices of the Peace

 

   51.   Appointment.

 

   52.   Assignment of justices to court houses.

 

   53.   Arrest by or on order of justice.

 

   54.   Justices may compel appearance of persons accused.

 

   55.   Persons arrested to be taken before court.

 

   56.   Powers of justices assigned to court houses.

 

   57.   Additional powers of justices assigned to district court houses.

 

 

 

(b) Additional Powers of Primary Court Magistrates

 

   58.   Primary court magistrates as justices.

 

 

 

(c) Miscellaneous

 

   59.   Confessions to justices.

 

   60.   Powers of persons arresting.

 

   61.   Provisions relating to process.

 

   62.   Supervision of and instruction to justices.

 

 

 

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

   63.   Concurrent jurisdiction.

 

   64.   Certain issues not justiciable in primary courts.

 

   65.   Magistrates not to act if having an interest.

 

   66.   Non-liability to suit of magistrates, justices, etc., acting in good faith.

 

   67.   Contempt.

 

   68.   Appellants in prison or lock-up.

 

   69.   Local government authorities to prepare list of assessors.

 

   70.   Lock-ups.

 

   71.   Rules and directions.

 

 

 

PART VIII
REPEAL, SAVING AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

 

   72.-76.   [Repeal of R.L. Cap. 537.]

 

   77.   Saving of appeal laws and prerogative writs.

 

 

 

SCHEDULES

CHAPTER 11
THE MAGISTRATES' COURTS ACT

An Act to provide for the jurisdiction, powers and functions of magistrates' courts and for other related matters.

[1st July, 1984]
[G.N. No. 112 of 1984]

Acts Nos.
2 of 1984
13 of 1986
10 of 1989
4 of 1991
27 of 1991
3 of 1992
2 of 1996
13 of 1996
17 of 1996

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-2)

 

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Magistrates' Courts Act.

 

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise–

   "appropriate judicial authority" means the Chief Justice and any person appointed by the Chief Justice under section 15 to be, or to perform the functions of, the appropriate judicial authority for the relevant purpose;

   "civil magistrate" means a resident magistrate and such other magistrate as the Chief Justice may appoint either generally or in respect of any proceeding or category of proceedings, to be a civil magistrate;

   "decision" includes a judgment, finding, acquittal, conviction, sentence or ruling;

   "district court" means a court established under section 4;

   "district magistrate" includes a resident magistrate;

   "honorary magistrate" means any person appointed under section 16 to be, or to perform the functions of, a magistrate;

   "local government authority" means a city, municipal, town or district council;

   "magistrate" means a primary court magistrate, a district magistrate or a resident magistrate and also includes a civil magistrate and an honorary magistrate;

   "Minister" means the Minister for the time being responsible for legal affairs;

   "order" includes a writ, warrant, summons or other process, and a decree revisional or confirmatory order and any other formal expression of the decision of a court;

   "primary court" means a court established under section 3;

   "Primary Courts Criminal Procedure Code" means the Code set out in the Third Schedule to this Act, as amended from time to time;

   "proceeding" includes any application, reference, cause, matter, suit, trial, appeal or revision, whether final or interlocutory, and whether or not between parties;

   "registrar" means the Registrar of the Court of Appeal or of the High Court and includes any deputy or district registrar;

   "resident magistrate-in-charge" means any resident magistrate appointed by the Chief Justice for each region under section 15, to be, or to perform, supervisory, administrative and judicial functions of a resident magistrate-in-charge.

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT, CONSTITUTION AND SET UP OF MAGISTRATES' COURTS (ss 3-17)

 

3.   Primary courts

   (1) There are hereby established in every district primary courts which shall, subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, exercise jurisdiction within the respective districts in which they are established.

   (2) The designation of a primary court shall be the primary court of the district in which it is established.

 

4.   District courts

   (1) There is hereby established in every district a district court which shall, subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, exercise jurisdiction within the district in which it is established.

   (2) Subject to subsection (3), the designation of a district court shall be the district court of the district in which it is established.

   (3) The Chief Justice may, by order published in the Gazette, vary the designation of any district court.

   (4) The variation of the designation of a district court or of the area within which such court may exercise jurisdiction, shall not affect the jurisdiction of such court to continue the hearing of, or to determine, any proceeding commenced before it prior to such variation.

   (5) The Chief Justice may, if in his opinion it is in the public interest so to do, by published order in the Gazette, confer upon a district court established for any district, jurisdiction over any other contiguous district or districts and where such order is made, such district court shall have concurrent jurisdiction in relation to the district for which it is established and also in relation to such other district or districts as may be specified in the order.

 

5.   Courts of a resident magistrate

   (1) The Chief Justice may, by order published in the Gazette, establish courts of a resident magistrate which shall, subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, exercise jurisdiction in such areas as may be specified in the order.

   (2) The designation of a court of a resident magistrate shall be that specified in the order establishing it.

   (3) The Chief Justice may, by order published in the Gazette, vary the designation of a court of a resident magistrate or of the area within which that court may exercise jurisdiction.

   (4) The variation of the designation of a court of a resident magistrate, or of the area within which that court may exercise jurisdiction, shall not affect the jurisdiction of that court to continue the hearing of, or to determine, any proceeding commenced before it prior to the variation.

 

6.   Constitution of magistrates' courts

   (1) Subject to the provisions of section 7, a magistrates' court shall be duly constituted when held by a single magistrate, being–

 

   (a)   in the case of a primary court, a primary court magistrate;

 

   (b)   in the case of a district court, a district magistrate resident or a magistrate;

 

   (c)   in the case of a court of a resident magistrate, a resident magistrate.

   (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), where jurisdiction is conferred on a district court only when held by a magistrate of a particular description, such court shall not be duly constituted for the exercise of such jurisdiction unless held by a magistrate of that description.

   (3) Where two or more magistrates of the same description are assigned to a particular magistrates' court each may hold sittings of the court concurrently with the other or others.

   (4) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chief Justice may direct two or more magistrates of the same or other appropriate description to sit for the hearing and determination of any proceeding or any category thereof, and in any such case the court shall not be duly constituted for such proceeding nor any proceeding of such category, unless it is composed of the number and description of magistrates so directed.

   (5) In any case where any proceeding is directed to be heard and determined by two or more magistrates, the same shall be determined in accordance with the opinion of the majority and if the court is equally divided the proceedings shall be dismissed.

 

7.   Assessors

   (1) In every proceeding in the primary court, including a finding, the court shall sit with not less than two assessors.

   (2) All matters in the primary court including a finding in any issue, the question of adjourning the hearing, an application for bail, a question of guilt or innocence of any accused person, the determination of sentence, the assessment of any monetary award and all questions and issues whatsoever shall, in the event of difference between a magistrate and the assessors or any of them, be decided by the votes of the majority of the magistrates and assessors present and, in the event of an equality of votes the magistrate shall have the casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.

   (3) In any proceeding in any other magistrates' court in which any rule of customary or Islamic law is in issue or relevant the court may, and when directed by an appropriate judicial authority shall, sit with an assessor or assessors; and every such assessor shall be required, before judgment, to give his opinion as to all questions relating to customary or Islamic law in issue in, or relevant to, the proceeding; save that in determining the proceeding the court shall not be bound to conform with the opinion of the assessors.

 

8.   Liability to serve as assessor in courts, exemptions, etc.

   (1) Subject to subsection (2) all persons between the age of thirty and sixty years shall be liable to serve as assessors in courts.

   (2) The following persons are hereby exempted from liability to serve as assessors, namely–

 

   (a)   Ministers and members of the National Assembly;

 

   (b)   magistrates and judges;

 

   (c)   persons actively discharging the duties of priests or ministers of their respective religion;

 

   (d)   physicians, surgeons, dentists and apothecaries in actual practice;

 

   (e)   legal practitioners in actual practice;

 

   (f)   officers and men in the Armed Forces of the United Republic on full pay;

 

   (g)   persons disabled by mental infirmity;

 

   (h)   officers of the Police and Prison Services; and

 

   (i)   such other officers of the Government and such other persons as may be exempted by the Chief Justice from liability to serve.

 

9.   Regulations for the purposes of assessors in courts

   The Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the purposes of the provisions of section 7, prescribing–

 

   (a)   the constitution and composition of panels of assessors;

 

   (b)   forms for the purposes of summoning assessors.

 

   (c)   the procedure for the appointment of members of panels of assessors;

 

   (d)   the remuneration of assessors;

 

   (e)   conditions and other matters in respect of the service of assessors;

 

10.   Places and times of sitting and distribution of business

   (1) A magistrates' court may be held at any place within its local limits of jurisdiction.

   (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) a magistrates' court shall not be held at a place that is not regularly or customarily used for such a purpose unless public notice has previously been given of the intention to use the same for such a purpose, and the Chief Justice may, by order published in the Gazette, authorise a district court to sit outside the district for which it is established when exercising its appellate, confirmatory or revisional jurisdiction.

   (3) Subject to the other provisions of this section, a magistrates' court shall sit at such times and places as may be necessary for the convenient and speedy dispatch of the business of the court and the distribution of business as between magistrates assigned to a court shall be arranged as may be convenient.

   (4) The resident magistrate-in-charge or the appropriate judicial authority may give general or specific directions relating to any of the matters referred to in subsection (3).

   (5) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, a magistrates' court may sit for the dispatch of any proceeding of a criminal nature on Sunday or on a public holiday.

 

11.   Registers and returns

   (1) Subject to subsection (2) each magistrates' court shall keep such register or registers of all the proceedings entered, heard and determined in the court as may be prescribed.

   (2) Where sittings of the court are regularly or customarily held at more than one place, a separate register or set of registers shall be kept for each of such places, and proceedings heard and determined at any place other than a regular or customary place of sitting shall be entered in the principal register or registers of the court.

   (3) Each magistrates' court shall–

 

   (a)   with respect to all civil proceedings, submit to the Registrar of the High Court annual returns of all proceedings; and

 

   (b)   with respect to all criminal proceedings submit to the Registrar of the High Court annual returns of all proceedings specifying–

 

      (i)   the number of persons prosecuted for the year of returns;

 

      (ii)   the nature of the charges;

 

      (iii)   the results of the proceedings taken therein and any other particulars relating to the state of crime in the area or areas of jurisdiction of the court.

 

12.   Seals and stamps

   Magistrates' courts shall use seals or stamps of such nature and pattern as the Chief Justice may direct.

 

13.   Language of courts

   (1) The language of primary courts shall be Kiswahili.

   (2) The language of courts of a resident magistrate and of district courts shall be either English or Kiswahili or such other language as the magistrate holding such court may direct; save that in the exercise of appellate, revisional or confirmatory jurisdiction by a district court (in which case the record and judgment may be in English or Kiswahili), the record and judgment of the court shall be in English.

 

14.   Magistrates to sit in open court

   (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), a magistrate shall not inquire into or try any offence, preside over any civil proceeding or hear any appeal unless he is sitting in open court.

   (2) This section shall have effect subject to any law conferring power on a court or magistrate to sit in camera or otherwise to exclude persons or categories of persons for any proceeding or part of it, and to any law relating to domestic proceedings or juvenile courts.

 

15.   Appointment of resident magistrates-in-charge and appropriate judicial authorities

   (1) The Chief Justice shall appoint for each region a resident magistrate-in-charge to perform the supervisory, administrative and judicial functions of a resident magistrate-in-charge in the region.

   (2) The Chief Justice may, generally or in respect of specified provisions, courts or areas only, appoint any judge, registrar or magistrate to be, or to perform the functions of an appropriate judicial authority.

 

16.   Appointment of honorary magistrates Act No. 13 of 1986 Sch.">

   Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may, if in his opinion it is in the public interest so to do, and after consultation with the Chief Justice, appoint any suitable person as honorary magistrate who may from time to time be called upon to try specific cases or perform any judicial function.

   (2) Unless circumstances require otherwise, an honorary magistrate shall be appointed from amongst persons who have had experience of, and have shown capacity in, the practice of any branch of the legal profession.

   (3) The Minister shall, by order published in the Gazette, confer upon such honorary magistrate the jurisdiction to enforce any law or perform any judicial function.

   (4) A person exercising judicial functions by reason of his appointment as an honorary magistrate shall be paid such remuneration, allowances or other payments for expenses and subsistence as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette determine.

 

17.   Establishment of special traffic courts

   The Minister may, if in his opinion it is in the public interest so to do, after consultation with the Chief Justice, establish a special traffic court in such places as he may deem necessary, for the hearing and determination of traffic cases.

PART III
JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF, AND APPEALS, ETC., FROM PRIMARY COURTS (ss 18-39)

(a) Jurisdiction and Powers (ss 18-19)

 

18.   Jurisdiction of primary courts Act No. 3 of 1992">

   (1) A primary court shall have and exercise jurisdiction–

 

   (a)   in all proceedings of a civil nature–

 

      (i)   where the law applicable is customary law or Islamic law:

 

            Provided that no primary court shall have jurisdiction in any proceedings affecting the title to or any interest in land registered under the Land Registration Act *;

 

      (ii)   for the recovery of civil debts, rent or interests due to the Republic, any district, city, municipal or town council or township authority under any judgment, written law (unless jurisdiction therein is expressly conferred on a court or courts other than a primary court), right of occupancy, lease, sublease or contract, if the value of the subject matter of the suit does not exceed five million shillings, and in any proceedings by way of counter-claim and set-off therein of the same nature and not exceeding such value;

 

      (iii)   for the recovery of any civil debt arising out of contract, if the value of the subject matter of the suit does not exceed three million shillings, and in any proceeding by way of counterclaim and set-off therein of the same nature not exceeding such value; and

 

   (b)   in all matrimonial proceedings relating civil and Christian marriages;

 

   (c)   in all proceedings in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on a primary court by the First Schedule to this Act; and

 

   (d)   in all proceedings in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on a primary court by any other law.

   (2) The Chief Justice may, by order published in the Gazette, confer upon a primary court jurisdiction in the administration of deceased's estates where the law applicable to the administration or distribution of, or the succession to, the estate is customary law or, save as provided in subsection (1) of this section, Islamic law.

   (3) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, add to the First Schedule jurisdiction to administer or enforce any provision of any law which a district court has jurisdiction to administer or enforce (other than any such provision in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred on a district court only when held by a civil magistrate), and may amend or replace the same accordingly.

 

19.   Powers, practice and procedure

   (1) The practice and procedure of primary courts shall be regulated and, subject to the provisions of any law for the time being in force, their powers limited–

 

   (a)   in the exercise of their criminal jurisdiction, by the Primary Courts Procedure Code;

 

   (b)   in the exercise of their jurisdiction, by the provisions of the Fourth Schedule to this Act, and, where the law applicable is customary, by customary law in so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of the Fourth Schedule;

 

   (c)   in the exercise of their jurisdiction in the administration of estates by the provisions of the Fifth Schedule to this Act, and, in matters of practice and procedure, by rules of court for primary courts which are not inconsistent therewith; and the said Code and Schedules shall apply thereto and for the regulation of such other matters as are provided for therein.

   (2) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the rules of evidence applicable in primary courts and subject to any regulations, a primary court may accept such evidence as is pertinent and such proof as appears to be worthy of belief, according to the rule thereof and notwithstanding any other law relating to evidence or proof.

   (3) In addition to any other powers and provisions in that behalf and subject to subsection (4), a primary court shall have power, subject to rules of court–

 

   (a)   to issue a summons for the attendance of any party to any proceeding in the court;

 

   (b)   to issue a summons to any person to attend before it for the purposes of giving evidence or of producing any documents or thing relevant to any proceeding in the court, to issue a warrant for the arrest of any such person and his production before the court, to issue a commission for the examination of witnesses and to take evidence on commission;

 

   (c)   where it is of the opinion that the justice of any case so requires, to require any person present at the court whether a party or summoned as a witness or not, to give evidence; and

 

   (d)   if it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that any property which is in dispute in any case is in danger of being destroyed, hidden, wasted, damaged, alienated or otherwise injuriously dealt with by any person, the court may, pending final determination of the case, issue an injunction to restrain any such person from destroying, hiding, wasting, damaging, alienating or otherwise injuriously dealing with any such property, and may, if it deems fit, take the property into it own custody, and, if it is of a perishable character, sell or dispose of the same and retain the proceeds in the same manner as if they were the original property.

   (4) Where, in any proceeding of a criminal nature, the exercise of any of the powers specified in subsection (3) is subject, in accordance with the Primary Courts Criminal Procedure Code, to any condition, that power may be exercised only subject to that condition being fulfilled; and nothing in paragraph (c) of that subsection shall be construed as empowering a primary court to require any person accused in any criminal proceedings to give evidence therein against his will.

   (5) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that nothing in sections 29, 31, 32, 36, 38, 38A or 38B of the Penal Code * shall apply to, or to any punishment imposed by, a primary court.

   (6) The Minister may, after consultation with the Chief Justice, by order published in the Gazette, amend the provisions of the Third, Fourth and the Fifth Schedules to this Act.

(b) Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction of District Courts (ss 20-24)

 

20.   Appeals from primary courts

   (1) Save as hereinafter provided–

 

   (a)   in proceedings of a criminal nature, any person convicted of an offence by a primary court, or where any person has been acquitted by a primary court, the complainant or the Director of Public Prosecutions; or

 

   (b)   in any other proceedings, any party,

if aggrieved by an order or decision of the primary court, may appeal therefrom to the district court of the district for which the primary court is established.

   (2) No appeal shall be allowed–

 

   (a)   in any case of an accused person convicted on his own plea of guilty, except against sentence or an order for the payment of compensation;

 

   (b)   in any case in which a primary court has passed a sentence of a fine not exceeding one hundred shillings only or made an order for the payment of compensation not exceeding one hundred shillings only, save with the leave of the district court; or

 

   (c)   in any case where a person is convicted of an offence set out in the Schedule to the Minimum Sentences Act * (being an offence within the jurisdiction of primary courts), against any minimum sentence ascribed by section 4 of that Act, unless the accused is a first offender within the meaning prescribed to that expression in that Act and the value of the relevant property does not exceed one hundred shillings or unless such sentence includes an order for the imposition of corporal punishment and the appellant is a male under the age of sixteen years or over the age of forty-five years or is a female.

   (3) Every appeal to a district court shall be by way of petition and shall be filed in the district court within thirty days after the date of the decision or order against which the appeal is brought.

   (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3)–

 

   (a)   the district court may extend the time for filing an appeal either before or after such period has expired; and

 

   (b)   if an application is made to the district court within the said period of thirty days or any extension thereof granted by the district court, the district court may permit an appellant to state the grounds for his appeal orally and shall record them and hear the appeal accordingly.

   (5) The Minister may make regulation prescribing the procedure for appeals from primary courts by a complainant other than the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

21.   Powers of district courts

   (1) In the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, a district court shall have power–

 

   (a)   to direct the primary court to take additional evidence and to certify the same to the district court or, for reasons to be recorded in writing, to hear additional evidence itself;

 

   (b)   whether or not additional evidence is heard or taken, to confirm reverse, amend or vary in any manner the decision or order appealed against (including power to substitute a conviction or a conviction and sentence for an acquittal), so however that the decision or order as altered shall not be in excess of the jurisdiction of the primary court and no conviction or conviction and sentence shall be substituted for an acquittal, and no sentence shall be enhanced, unless the accused or convicted person, as the case may be, has been given an opportunity of being heard;

 

   (c)   to quash any proceeding (including proceedings which terminated in an acquittal) and, where it is considered desirable, to order the case to be heard de novo either before the court of first instance or some other primary court, or any district court, having jurisdiction; and

 

   (d)   the provisions of paragraph (d) of subsection (1), and subsection (2) of section 49 shall be applicable to such rehearing as if the case had been transferred.

   (2) Where an order that any proceedings be quashed and the case be reheard is made as aforesaid, no plea of res judicata or autrefois acquit or of autrefois convict shall be entertained in respect of any order or decision in the proceedings so quashed.

   (3) Nothing in this section shall be read as prohibiting any aggrieved complainant in a criminal proceeding to appeal against the decision of a primary court to the district court.

 

22.   Revisional jurisdiction

   (1) A district court may call for and examine the record of any proceedings in the primary court established for the district for which it is itself established, and may examine the records and registers thereof, for the purposes of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any decision or order of the primary court, and as to the regularity of any proceedings therein, and may revise any such proceedings.

   (2) In the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction, a district court shall have all the powers conferred upon a district court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction including the power to substitute a conviction, or a conviction and sentence, for an acquittal; and the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 21 shall apply in relation to an order quashing proceedings and ordering a rehearing which is made in the exercise of a district court's revisional jurisdiction as they apply in relation to any such order made in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.

   (3) In addition to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, no order shall be made in the exercise of the court's revisional jurisdiction in any proceeding of a civil nature increasing any sum awarded, or altering the rights of any party to his detriment (other than an order quashing proceedings in a lower court or an order reducing any award in excess of the jurisdiction or powers of the lower court to the extent necessary to make it conform thereto) unless such party has been given an opportunity of being heard.

   (4) No proceedings shall be revised under this section after the expiration of twelve months from the termination of such proceedings in the primary court and no proceedings shall be further revised under this section in respect of any matter arising thereon which has previously been the subject of a revisional order under this section.

   (5) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section a district court may exercise its powers of revision in any case where an offender is committed for sentence, or a sentence is submitted for confirmation, under the Primary Courts Criminal Procedure Code.

 

23.   Jurisdiction over offenders committed for sentence by primary courts

   (1) Where an offender is committed to a district court for sentence under the provisions of the Primary Courts Criminal Procedure Code, the district court shall have jurisdiction to inquire into the circumstances of the case and to deal with the offender in any manner in which he could have been dealt with by the district court if he had been convicted by the district court of the offence in question.

   (2) If the district court imposes a sentence on the offender–

 

   (a)   the provisions of the Primary Courts Criminal Procedure Code and of this Part shall apply only with regard to an appeal against conviction as for any other case tried by a primary court; and

 

   (b)   the offender may appeal against such sentence to the High Court in the same manner and in the same circumstances as if he had been convicted by the district court, and the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act * relating to appeals against sentence from a district court to the High Court shall apply accordingly.

   (3) The district court may in its discretion postpone its inquiry under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section until the expiration of the time for filing an appeal against conviction and, if the appeal has been filed before the district court commences the inquiry, the district court may in its discretion postpone the inquiry until final determination of the appeal or for such lesser period as the court may deem fit.

 

24.   General provisions on appeals to, revision by, and committal for sentence to, district courts

   (1) Where an appeal has been filed by a person entitled to appeal to a district Court or a district court calls for the record of any proceedings under section 23, the district court or the primary court may, for reasons to be recorded in writing–

 

   (a)   in the case of a person sentenced to imprisonment or committed in custody to the district court for sentence, order–

 

      (i)   that the person be released on bail with or without sureties pending the hearing of his appeal or the termination of the revisional proceedings; or

 

      (ii)   that the execution of the sentence be suspended pending the hearing of his appeal or the termination of the revisional proceedings, in which case he shall be treated as a remand prisoner pending the hearing of his appeal; but if the appeal is ultimately dismissed or the original sentence (being a sentence of imprisonment) is confirmed, or some other sentence of imprisonment substituted therefor, the time during which the sentence has been suspended, shall be excluded in computing the term of imprisonment; and

 

   (b)   in any other case, order that the execution of the decision or order appealed against be suspended pending the hearing of his appeal or the termination of the revisional proceedings.

   (2) Where a district court determines any appeal, revises any proceedings or passes sentence upon any person committed to it for sentence, it shall certify its decision or order to the primary court in which the proceedings originated, and the primary court shall thereupon make such orders as are conformable to the decision or order of the district court and, if necessary, the records shall be amended in accordance therewith.

(c) Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction of the High Court in Relation to Matters Originating in Primary Courts (ss 25-32)

 

25.   Appeals, etc., from district courts in their appellate and revisional jurisdiction

   (1) Save as hereinafter provided–

 

   (a)   in proceedings of a criminal nature, any person convicted of an offence or, in any case where a district court confirms the acquittal of any person by a primary court or substitutes an acquittal for a conviction, the complainant or the Director of Public Prosecutions; or

 

   (b)   in any other proceedings any party,

if aggrieved by the decision or order of a district court in the exercise of of its appellate or revisional jurisdiction may, within thirty days after the date of the decision or order, appeal therefrom to the High Court; and the High Court may extend the time for filing an appeal either before or after such period of thirty days has expired.

   (2) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the procedure for appeals from district courts by a complainant other than the Director of Public Prosecutions against the decision or order of a district court confirming the acquittal of any person by the primary court or where a district court substitutes an acquittal for a conviction.

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