National, News

Judicial committee hopes for legal reforms

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan judicial reform committee chairperson has vowed to rescue states with legal reforms as the population complains of justice being mishandled by the authorities.

Recently, the judicial reform committee visited towns in three states and one administrative area, including Pibor, Wau, Yambio, and Malakal.

After the tour of the states, the judicial committee met yesterday with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, James Ogoola, the chairperson of the committee, said that judges at the state level ought to be educated and trained on judicial matters.

“There are challenges in the states and the administrative areas on training judges, police, prisons, lawyers, and everybody who has any stake in the judiciary, and that is virtual,” he said.

Ogoola said that another impeding challenge they receive is a breach in the separation of powers within the three state organs of the government.

“Another issue has been the separation of powers. In any state, there are three basic centers of power, the executive, legislative, and judiciary. Each one of these must attend to its own staff and areas,” he said.

The chairperson of the judicial reform committee noted that issues of encroachment among the three pillars of government have been registered, making it difficult to trace out key areas of responsibility.

“There must be respect for boundaries between them. There is always a temptation to wander into someone else’s territory, and so we will be taking care of that area,” he said.

Ogoola stressed that there is a need for legislators to develop policies that guide the conduct of state authorities toward their legal services.

“There should be a constitutional dispensation, for example, for a constitutional court to be established in South Sudan,” he noted.

He further stated that from the views they gathered, they have prioritized training state police, lawyers, citizens, the prison, and everybody else with a stake in the judiciary.

He called on the state governments, particularly the three arms, to know their boundaries and work according to the law to avoid problems of whatever kind.

Mr. Ogoola maintained that they will be conducting more trips to the remaining states in due course to ensure that the law enforcement urgencies work effectively.

He underlined that legal procedures for the appointment of lawyers and judges in state judicial systems have never been ethical and proper.

“Another thing is the appointment of judges, chiefs, and anybody who has anything to do with the judicial sector. How are they appointed? This is very important because it shows independence,” he hinted.



Comments are closed.