Born on 24th January, 1939 at Morogoro, being the second of eight children of her parents, Dr. William Manning and Mrs. Margaret Maria Manning, Julie went to Moravian Primary School, Mbeya, for Standard 1 to 4 and then proceeded to Loleza Girls’ Middle School for Standard 5 to 8. She eventually found her way to Tabora Senior Girls’ Secondary School for Standards 9 to 14 (now known as Form 1-6). In her last three years at Tabora Girls (1958-60), she was the school’s Head Girl. A first Tanzanian woman to enrol at University College Dar es Salaam for university degree studies, Julie Manning was also a first Tanzanian woman to study law at this the-then constituent college of the University of East Africa, in 1961. She was the only woman among the first 14 students who enrolled in 1961 and among the first 13 to graduate in 1963. While the temporary site for the University College in the downtown TANU building on Lumumba Street could conveniently accommodate staff offices, classrooms, a library, a dining room, a recreation room, as well as dormitories for male students, the only female student—Miss Manning—was accorded homely accommodation at Lady Twining Hostel, with all the care and security deserved of a home-staying scholar. Ms Manning became the first Tanzanian woman to be appointed a High Court judge (1973) and a Minister of Justice, from 1975 to 1983. After this, from 1984 to early 1993, she served as a counsel and a Minister Plenipotentiary at the Tanzania High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, where she dealt with educational matters, international relations and development projects. She was thereafter appointed one of the seven non-full time Commissioners of the National Electoral Commission, for three consecutive terms of five years each up to 2008. For the first ten years of that period, she was the only female on the Commission. The Commission was involved in the organization and conduct of Presidential, Parliamentary and civic elections. In 1993, well up to 2002, she was a full-time Commissioner of the Tanzania Law Reform Commission which was/is charged with the review and reform of all the laws in Tanzania so as to keep them abreast of the changing economic and political situations in the country. For a long period from 1998, she served as Chairperson of the National Parole Board which recommends clemency to His Excellency the President of the United Republic for inmates with good conduct during their prison terms.
In between various years of her long and successful career, Ms. Manning undertook a number of short courses and study tours, such as one that was organized by the National Institute for Citizens’ Legal Education in the USA and the Public Legal Education in East Africa in Nairobi in 1994 and in Arusha in 1995. She has on record many conferences she attended, including those of the Commonwealth Law Ministers.
In October 2011, during its fiftieth anniversary celebrations, the University of Dar es Salaam renamed Hall of Residence No.3 (a Women’s Hall on main campus) Julie Manning Hall in her honour. She is currently happily retired.