Assessment of the Need of Involving Assessors in Adjudication of Land Cases at District Land and Housing Tribunal in Tanzania


The District Land and Housing Tribunals (DLHT) is supposed to be dully constituted when presided by a chairman and two Assessors who are supposed to have knowledge in land and housing matters and customs and norms of a given area in which the Tribunal is established. Since the said Assessors are involved in all land cases at the DLHT, their role remain questionable in other land disputes that are not related to customary law and practice of the particular community. Albeit the minimum academic qualification of Assessors is form four leaver of which knowledge of the land law is still questionable to these persons. The study was conducted to assess the current role of assessors and the need of involving them in all land disputes at DLHT by testing as to whether assessors’ presence in all cases including those cases with no any customs and norms element serves any purpose in the administration of justice. In ascertaining this objective the researcher used traditional doctrinal research by analyzing the relevant legislations and literatures. The findings of the study reveal that the act of involving Assessors in all land disputes has brought yet another cause of delaying cases hence defeats the whole purpose of using specialized Tribunals for Land Disputes. This is so because assessors are lay person, with knowledge only on customs and norm they have no knowledge in land laws yet they are required to give their opinion on matters of law.

Key words:  Land disputes; Assessors; District Land and Housing Tribunal; Tanzania


Bahati Colex