Machar decries rot in Judicial system

Machar decries rot in Judicial system
The First Vice President, and chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Dr Riek Machar Teny. [Photo: Courtesy]

The First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar has called for radical surgery at the judiciary adding that the system is rotten to high heavens.

Dr. Machar stressed that rot has seen higher brain drain with most judicial officers quitting legal professionals due to low pay.

“A good number of judges have left the judiciary. One of the reasons could be low pay, and the working conditions in the judiciary are not attractive,” he said.

“You are doing reforms in a system where institutions are not complete.” We have not resolved the debate [and] now we are moving to the federal system,” Dr. Machar told members of the Judicial Reform Committee (JRC) in Juba on Thursday.

The committee is tasked with making necessary judicial reforms in the country as one of the components of the implementation of the R-ARCISS.

He encouraged the JRC to find a solution to the problems currently bedeviling the judiciary.

“In our universities, the numbers of graduates produced yearly are fewer that our requirements and even when they graduate they do not get employment,” Dr. Machar stated. 

He advised JRC to focus on expanding the Judiciary to accommodate the fresh graduates the country often produces.

Calls for reforms

According to Dr. Machar, judicial reforms required commitment from parties to the agreement.  

“Change is necessary for justice to be dispensed,” he said. 

He emphasised the importance of the Judicial Reform Committee, saying it is one of the committees needed for reforms in the country. 

“This important committee is being launched now you can read even, the transition is coming to an end this committee is very important for the Republic of South Sudan just as justice is important,” he said. 

He reaffirmed government support for the JRC. 

“We hope the government will double effort to ensure that they do their work within the time specified which is six months,” he said.  

He revealed that most of the debates regarding the Judiciary are still not completed.  

“Now we have a country, we need a judiciary which we expect to be independent and be transparent to ensure that the rule of law is prevailing in the country but the debate of the judiciary is not yet concluded,” he said. 

Dr. Machar also noted that South Sudan’s judiciary system has been dominated by customary laws which he said contradicted the law. 

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Justice Ruben Madol Arol, affirmed that the launch of the Judicial Reform Committee would be a good signal to the implementation of the peace agreement. 

“The judiciary reform committee marks the beginning of the implementation of Article 1.17 of the R-ARCISS which state that RTGoNU and IGAD shall establish an ad hoc committee to reform the judiciary by ways of amending relevant laws, restructuring and empowerment of Judges,” Madol said. 

He pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Justice to working together with the committee in coordinating the judicial reforms in the country.