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November 19, 2017

Supreme Court justice resigns


A justice of the Supreme Court has resigned due what he calls lack of judicial and financial independence and poor administration of the judicial system.

Justice Kukurlopita Marino Pitia says his withdrawal from the system is in accordance to the Judiciary Act, 2008.

In his resignation letter seen by Eye Radio, he stresses that the judiciary lacks institutional independence and the functions of the justices and judges are interfered with.

Hence, he says in practice, the fundamental core values enshrined in the constitution and the substantive laws are repeatedly violated and not observed.

Justice Marino says lack of independence of individual Judges and Justices means that they can no longer render independent judgment, particularly in constitutional petitions, which is being directed by the executive.

In July, President Salva Kiir dismissed 13 justices and judges who allegedly spearheaded a four-month strike over pay and better working conditions.

Justice Marino says in regards to this, the justices and judges no longer have the security of their offices and they lack certainty and guarantee of their positions.

He says the dismissal of the individuals to save the Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut, has ruined the judiciary and “brought it to its knees” because of mismanagement.

Consequently, he says the public has lost confidence in the judiciary as an institution of service delivery.

The absence of financial independence as enshrined in the constitution, Mr. Marino says has rendered the judiciary vulnerable to extortion and interference, which infringes the principle of independence of the judiciary.

He says all the issues have made it difficult for the judiciary to properly administer justice and guarantee supremacy of the rule of law.

Read the resignation letter here.

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