Justice in Botswana is primarily administered by the Administration of Justice, which comprises the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the Magistrates’ Courts. There are also Customary Courts (dikgotla) which deal with matters of tribal nature and minor criminal and civil cases. Appeals against the decisions of the Customary Courts are taken to the Customary Court of Appeal, and if need be, from there to the High Court. The High Court is the pivot on which the administration of justice turns, and has unlimited jurisdiction to try all cases, civil and criminal, and to exercise review powers over the administration of justice in all subordinate courts, while itself being subject to appeals against its decisions to the Court of Appeal.
The Law of Botswana has been developed over the years through Statutes passed by Parliament (statute law) and through judicial decisions (case law). The Criminal Law is codified in the Penal Code. Capital punishment still exists in Botswana, but only for the most serious crimes such as murder. The President has the prerogative of mercy.
The Constitution enshrines all fundamental freedoms. The independence of the courts is guaranteed by the Constitution.