Judiciary dissatisfied with progress of bill

Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, has expressed disappointment at the National Executive council for not passing the Court of Appeals bill in the last term of parliament.

This Bill will see the Court of Appeals come between the National and Supreme Court. The third and final reading of the Bill was supposed to have gone through in the last sitting of Parliament, however, that was not done.  It remains on parliament’s list of unfinished business.

“I’m not particularly happy with the way the passage of that constitution amendment has taken place in the last term of parliament and I’m hopeful the third reading will take place in the current term of parliament,” Sir Salamo said.

As to when that bill is passed, the three-tier court system will come in place which will see a restructure of the current court system.

“So we are hopeful that in this new term of parliament they should be able to give us the third reading of that same bill to give us a three-tier court structure. It is important that the three tire court structure are put in place as soon as possible.

“It is a proposal that has been sponsored or initiated by the judiciary and the government must do the right thing to ensure that law is passed and we can implement that law immediately, “the Chief Justice added.

With the current judges the judiciary has at the moment, Sir Salamo is confident they should be able to assign a number of judges between the three-tier court structures.

“So 44 judges on the ground, the government should assign 7 judges to sit in the Supreme Court full time, 11 judges to sit in the court of appeal full time, and the remaining which is a good number will sit in the National Court.

“We may bring in another 10 or so to sit in the national court, but the remaining number obviously is a good number.

"The judiciary is ready to move to implement the new court structure when parliament passes the necessary constitution amendment any time soon,” he further added.

Sally Pokiton