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South Sudan Judiciary Is Intimidated: Chief Justice

South Sudan Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s Judiciary, one of the arms of the government is facing intimidation with judges and other practitioners facing abuses with arms down, the country’s chief justice, Chan Reech Madut, said.

While the country’s transitional constitution calls for the immunity of judges, court officials have found themselves totally lacking judicial freedom, Madut said in the capital Juba on June 29.

“In practice, there is no respect for judicial independence,” Madut told a two day consultative workshop organized towards seeking judicial reforms in the constitution.

“Sometimes we face difficulties in execution of orders from the court,” he said.

“There is lack of cooperation in the execution of judicial orders.”

He warned that the situation is forcing judges to abandon their profession.

“Some judges from the Supreme Court have taken leave without pay, others have resigned due to hard conditions to look for well-paid jobs,” Madut said.

Christy Ahencora, the UNDP representative in South Sudan called for the need of judicial reforms noting that it would promote sustainable economic development, judicial independence and the safety of democracy.

“Judicial reforms are important, they connect with other constitutional elements which promote inclusive development and also provide a sound legal system which will advance political and economic development in south Sudan,” she said.

“We cannot have political and economic development without looking at the legal backbone of South Sudan society.”

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