Learning from contemporary examples in Africa: Referral mechanisms for restorative justice in Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the jurisdictions in Africa that follow an adversarial criminal justice system. Despite a number of problems associated with the fact that the criminal justice system overutilises imprisonment, there is still a lack of diversionary measures to complement the system. This article investigates restorative justice as a complementary system to the Tanzanian criminal justice system, arguing that the law, including the constitution of the country, favours the application of restorative interventions. Invoking restorative justice mechanisms can, inter alia, relieve over-laden courts from the backlog of minor cases, and can help the government salvage funds by reducing the number of incarcerated offenders. It is further argued that restorative justice approaches that have been articulated in some juvenile justice systems in Africa can be adapted to suit the Tanzanian restorative approach for child and adult offenders.