What’s the purpose of written submissions in court

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    The purpose of written submissions is to save court’s time and to assist a judge. Written submissions must be factually accurate, and contain references to the evidence, relevant law and case law so that a judge/magistrate can return to the source (the evidence) and law readily and make an informed determination.

    It is bewildering therefore, that in a 7 paged High Court judgment, 6 of the pages are a summary of each parties’ case. The 7th page, which is 3/4 filled, contains what is supposed to have been a thorough examination of evidence, parties’ submissions, law and case law.

    True to say, written submissions ought not to be lengthy lest a litigant loses the judge’s trail of thought. However, they ought to set out each parties’ case and supported by evidence and the law. The least one would expect, however, is that a judge, having read through counsel’s written submissions, sets out the issues for determination,an analysis and the law applicable in his or her judgment, while not forgetting to distinguish between the authorities and precedents provided by counsel, in reaching their considered determination.

    In doing so, a litigant is able to follow the judge’s trail of thought. Even though I have judgment entered in favour of my client today, I am disappointed that there’s nothing interesting to read through.

    Source: Facebook, Mumo Mutisya 

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