Judiciary must be capacitated and salary structure be improved

By Joseph Akim Gordon

Every country in the world has a set of laws to govern the country to keep laws and rules that are created to be enforced by the judiciary, to regulate behavior and attitudes for peaceful coexistence, and those who break the laws will be penalized. Because nobody is above the law, whether rich or poor, highly placed government official or military cadre, must abide by the rule of law, otherwise the country becomes ungovernable.

The fundamental principle of the rule of law dictates that every person is subject to the same laws, no matter who they are and should be treated equally by the law of the court, every person is equal before the law and every person has the right to enjoy personal human right without discrimination and has equal protection of the law without discrimination.

In order for the law to be efficient and effective, there should be effective mechanism to enforce the laws, because it is noted that highly placed government and military hierarchy ignore or commit crimes with impunity. There are many criminal cases in the court taking long to get court verdict, even if summoned to court and never appear in the court, the failure in judiciary and law enforcement has encouraged people to take the laws into their own hands. We have many cases of revenge killing and other forms of criminality. When we do not enforce the laws properly the country can become ungovernable.    

The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional  Affairs is overwhelmed with draft policies or bills, because all the ministries presented them to the ministry of justice but the number of legal officers is so small that it cannot do work timely, for instance the establishment bill that should indicate the duties and the responsibilities of the minister, deputy minister and all the structure of ministries has not been implemented, the ministry of justice is the only ministry that has implemented the establishment bill, in addition there are important technical bills for instant the  ministry of agriculture and food security presented draft bill for plant protection, research, fertilizers and many others but none of them have been validated by the ministry to put it in legal language, as such the development partners, NGO’s  and other investors are scared to put their money for investment because there is no law to guarantee their investment.

So, where is the problem, the ministry of justice both at national and state level need to increase the number of legal officers to be able to render services in the national and state governments because the number of legal officers is few as result there are many pending cases in the courts and many are languishing in remand prisons for many years, as result the prisons are crowded in remand prisons. Social services including food and water and medical services is problematic

Another issue is that although English is an official language but in judiciary court hearing is mainly in Arabic the filing system all in Arabic, no effort is made to give English courses to improve English language, more over most of legal officers received their education in Arabic as result they find difficult to handle documents for policy or bills that is why work delays in Judiciary for many years. The staff of the judiciary are supposed to receive constant training in the subject-matter to be capacitated so that they handle their work in a professional manner.

The judiciary salary structure must be made attractive so that they can do a better job if they receive poor salary the likelihood of accepting bribes cannot be ruled out for this reason their salary structure must be improved and be paid house rents and other allowances also to attract those legal officers who are self-employed. All effort must be placed to improve the judiciary, the country with poor judiciary, the country become ungovernable, breaking the rule of laws. If the judiciary is strong, citizens will abide with laws of the country and scared of committing any crime for fear of heavy penalty.

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