September 27, 2013

Judiciary needs to find ways of becoming financially independent

The time has come for the judiciary to find creative and innovate ways to gain financial independence.{{more}}

This view was expressed by Chief Justice of the Eastern Supreme Court Janice Pereira, as she delivered her address at the start of the new law year, during a special sitting at the High Court last week.

“The time is right to examine the necessary adjustments to be made, which will allow us to further the advancement of justice. We need to scrutinise, with great care, the impediments that hamper our productivity,” the Chief Justice disclosed, via simulcast from the British Virgin Islands.

Pereira noted that at the core of these impediments are the lack of adequate resources, including human, financial and physical facilities.

According to the Chief Justice, members of the judiciary must be able to find solutions to overcome these impediments and be more ready and willing to implement them.

She added that the dependence of court offices on the executive to provide needed resources and budget approvals sometimes severely hamper the everyday functioning and efficiency, thus demanding a greater level of creativity and initiative on the part of those who manage the court offices.

“This dependency gives rise to vulnerability in avoiding encroachment into the judicial sphere. We have seen an international trend of courts moving to greater financial independence, in an effort to promote and preserve judicial independence. The question must be asked, how can the judiciary as an institution be truly independent, if it does not have some level of true financial independence?” the Chief Justice questioned.(KW)