The National, Thursday March 13th, 2014
I READ with both interest and concern a report in The National (Mar 7) on a case initiated by Opposition Leader Belden Namah, challenging the suspension of some policemen.
The policemen were investigating the prime minister, the treasurer and the finance minister.
The report said Justice Bernard Sakora had decided not to hear the case, choosing instead to throw it back to the court that had referred it to him.
It seems it was Justice Catherine Davani who referred the matter to his court.
Justice Sakora was quoted saying that “there appears to be a dumping of files in this court”.
Is he suggesting that some of his fellow judges are ‘dumping’ cases to him?
If that is true, what does it say about the judges who did that or about our judicial system?
Is it because they have too many cases before them?
Is it because they feel that there would be a conflict of interest if they were to hear the matter?
Is it because they feel incapable of handling the cases?
Or is it because they find the case too sensitive for their liking?
This is no small matter and I urge the minister of justice to look into it to prevent any misunderstanding and friction among the judges, and more importantly, to restore public confidence in the judiciary.
Cases brought before the court should not be treated like a soccer ball that is kicked around.
As the saying goes, “justice delayed is justice denied”.
I am sure our learned judges would agree to that.
They are respected individuals appointed to decide on matters which often have huge consequences on the parties involved.
Apart from the prospect of higher legal fees, there is always the possibility that their cases may be affected by various developments such as missing witnesses, evidence and files.