The Regional Court was established under the Magistrates Courts Act, 1985. Under the law, each of the five regions (i.e. North and South Regions of Pemba and North, South and Urban West in Unguja) in Unguja and Pemba is supposed to have a Regional Court. The Regional Court is presided over by a regional magistrate who is supposed to be a qualified lawyer and holder of a law degree from recognized institutions.
The Regional Court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction. In civil matters, the Regional Court has the power to entertain cases in which in the case of movable property the value of the subject matter is above TZS. 5,000,000/= but does not exceed TZS. 30,000,000/= and in the case of immovable property the value of the subject matter is above TZS. 10,000,000/= but does not exceed TZS. 50,000,000/=. In criminal matters, the Regional Court has power to hear cases originally heard by subordinate courts.
The Regional Magistrate, by virtue of the position, is the chairperson of the Children’s Court working in the region and can exercise the power of high court judge if his/her jurisdiction is extended by the chief justice.