Tanzania Court Hierarchy

Tanzania is a country which was formed by the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika in the year 1964.  After the union, both the countries continued to remain with their own legal systems and court structures.  The High court of Tanzania has jurisdiction over only those issues which arise in Tanzania Mainland whereas the High court of Zanzibar has jurisdiction over the issues arising in Zanzibar.

The courts in the United Republic of Tanzania are arranged in a clear and very simple hierarchy which has both superior and subordinate courts arranged in a hierarchical manner. There is also a Constitutional court that was formed for resolving disputes that arise between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.  To understand the hierarchy of courts in Tanzania in more detail, you can go through the following given information.

Tanzania Court hierarchy

Constitution Court

The special constitution court is the apex court in the country of Tanzania and is a court which is only especially held when there is a dispute between the Zanzibar area and the Tanzania Mainland.  In the history of the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika, the special constitutional court has never been formed.  It hasn’t been formed inspite of the disagreements on the nature of union and interpretation of the union.

The Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania

This is the highest court for the united republic of Tanzania and has jurisdiction over those appeals which arise from the high court of Tanzania and the High court of Zanzibar.

High Court of Tanzania Mainland

The highest level court beside the special constitutional court in mainland Tanzania is Tanzania High Court.  There are separate high courts for Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar which handle the civil and criminal cases of both regions separately. The high courts in Tanzania mainland are further subdivided into three parts which are given as follows:

  • The Commercial Court-this court handles all commercial appeals.
  • The Land Court-this court solves all those disputes which are related to land, property and real estate in mainland Tanzania.
  • The Labor Court-this court is responsible for hearing and resolving all employment related cases and disputes.

The high courts in Tanzania have registries in Moshi, Tanga, Arusha, Iringa, Bukoba, Dodoma, Mbeya, Tabora and other regions and all of these registries have their own resident judges.

High Court of Zanzibar

Unlike the high court of the Mainland, there is just one division of high court in Zanzibar region of the country. This court has registry in Pemba and in Zanzibar but the registry in Pemba does not have a resident judge.