Meet Tryphone Ignatus Rwezahura from Tanzania.
Tryphone’s interests lie at the nexus of corporate and commercial law and public interest litigation. With three years of practice so far, he has been heavily involved in both private and public law practice. He is driven by the belief that Public Interest Litigation is not for a specific group of people but any good spirited person, be it a corporate lawyer or a human rights litigant. He quotes one of his favourite poems by Pastor Martin Niemöller titled “First they came for the socialists …”
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”
For the practicum, Tryphone is currently hosted at the Legal and Human Rights Centre, where he continues to receive ample support from his mentor. Tryphone notes positive growth in his professional and personal development goals so far, and he looks forward to the rest of the practicum experience.
Tryphone’s project seeks to challenge Sections 25, 31, 32A, and 34A of the Public Service Act, Cap 298 R.E 2019 in addressing the protection of the right to equal treatment before the law and the authority of the Court to dispense justice as provided under Article 13 (1) and (2) and Article 107A of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. Briefly, the project seeks to eliminate discriminatory treatment between private employees and public servants in the area of disciplinary mechanisms. The mechanism under the Public Service Act limits the right of public servants to exercise their appellate right before the Courts in Tanzania which creates a discriminatory effect, one that is prohibited under the Constitution. Tryphone’s inspiration stems from a number of cases he has worked on prior, when challenging decisions made by Public Service Authorities in labour-related matters against Public Servants. The disciplinary mechanism and the appeal procedure existing in the public service sector is run by the Executive organ of the State, which Tryphone contends is an interference with the role and functions of the Judiciary - the final organ responsible for the dispensation of justice. Tryphone hopes that this project upon litigation will lead to an amendment of the Public Service Act of Tanzania.
On the weekends when the suit and tie are off, you’ll find Tryphone singing karaoke!
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are” — Benjamin Franklin.
We wish Tryphone the very best as he continues to amplify community voices.