Tribunal on Sakora dissolved

A leadership tribunal set up by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to investigate and determine if there are grounds to remove Justice Sir Bernard Sakora from office is no longer in effect.

This was established today by Tribunal Chairman, Justice Bruce Robertson, following Sir Bernard’s resignation that was announced last Friday by Attorney General Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, Davis Steven.

Steven said the resignation of Justice Sakora effectively terminates formal investigations into allegations of misconduct against him as initiated by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and a separate Leadership Code investigation process instigated by the Ombudsman Commission.

The tribunal was not formally notified but learnt of the resignation this morning from media reports.

Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin, who represents the commission in the tribunal, said the effect of Sir Bernard’s resignation means he is no longer subject to the Leadership code, and the tribunal has no jurisdiction over a leader once he has resigned. 

The subject matter of investigation is over 50 delayed judgments in which Sir Bernard heard and reserved for decisions.

He was on suspension ending a hearing of a constitutional case in the Supreme Court that has risen out of the referral, but was allowed by law to complete and deliver his outstanding reserved decisions.

Sir Bernard clocked 25 years of service as a judge in the National and Supreme Court.

Minister David described him as a judge of punctuation of strong academic reasoning whose grammatical flair sets his recorded decisions apart.

“Many will remember Justice Sakora for his services to our nation as a judge. For them, and on behalf of our government and the legal fraternity, I thank the departing judge and wish him well for the future.

“His Honour leaves a legacy that will intrigue the legal enquirer,” the minister added.

(Picture: Ipswich Grammar School)

Sally Pokiton