This article looks at the criminal justice system in Zambia in relation to efficiency and plea bargaining. Using publicly available data, it demonstrates that the institutions under the criminal justice sector are struggling to cope with heavy caseloads. The majority of cases in this context are disposed of through plea bargaining, thereby avoiding full trial. Only a few proceed to full trial. In this respect, it can be seen that plea bargaining serves two ends: it enables deserving cases to have space for trial and it allows the rest of the cases to be disposed of efficiently, without resort to trial. This, however, is not always appreciated by policy makers and legislators as they pass laws that negate or impede the effectiveness of plea bargaining. The paper concludes that plea bargaining is an essential ingredient of an efficient criminal justice system, without which the system would collapse under an impossible case load, and that it is also consistent with traditional African conceptualization of justice, particularly the concept of Ubuntu. ________________________________________________
Kaaba, O’Brien and Zhou, Tony
"Plea Bargaining, Reconciliation and Access to Justice in Zambia: Exploring The Invisible Link,"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 8:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol8/iss2/4