Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] Another open letter to her Ladyship, Chief justice Rehana Mungly-Gulbul

Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Mardi 30 Août 2022

Please forgive me for writing directly to you in this manner, but my previous open letters to you and to your predecessor have not seen any improvement whatsoever in the lamentable way our justice system is being run; I am sure that you do understand that all the issues that I have raised do substantially affect the lives of every citizen on this island.

I know it is difficult for someone in your position to imagine this scenario, but do try to put yourself in the shoes of the mere mortals who often suffer the sheer injustice from a criminal justice system that doggedly remains complacent. Are you happy with the general perception that the system helps the police, the magistrates, the judges, the lawyers, in fact everyone in the law and order industry except the people it is meant to serve and protect: the population of this island?

Here is a scenario: You are an ordinary citizen, but you have been arrested and forced to confess to an offence that you did not commit, as a result of repeated brutal assaults by some policemen. You go to court where you have your first experience of the cuit vide system practised in our courts: the magistrate is not concerned at all with your allegations of police brutality even though the bruises are all too apparent...and you are remanded in custody after a short appearance, and the police and the magistrates go home where no doubt they will eat to their heart's content and feel they have done a wonderful job.

Do you, as leader of the court system, feel any satisfaction to be presiding over such a chaotic, cruel state of affairs? Here are some of the points that I raised in previous open letters, and despite their pertinence and relevance, your silence speaks volumes about any desire (or lack of desire) to try to improve the system.

1/  The Privy Council has often 'admonished' Mauritian judges for the inordinate length of time it takes to deliver judgements. Not much has changed unfortunately, and some judges are known to still take 3-4 years to decide on the outcome of a case. Today's example of the Navin Ramgoolam case is one of thousands that suffer from cruel delays: an appeal by the DPP lodged in 2019 is resolved by today's Supreme Court judgement in 2022!

I would respectfully submit that the time has now come to introduce a time frame for judgments. If the law lords of the Privy Council can take two or three months at most, it beggars belief that our judiciary still takes ages to deliver judgments. Especially now that judges have all the facilities, digital records, legal assistants, etc,...  and they request for written submissions from counsel, which in itself is a good thing.

2/ Recently, the DPP had the merit of questioning the cruel length of time it takes for victims of road accidents to be indemnified. Shouldn't you now take the lead and insist that a Special Court ought to be set up in order to deal with these cases? It simply cannot be right that people disabled for life because of a road accident have sometimes to wait for anything up to 10 years before the court recognises the terrible hardship they are condemned to live with until they die...usually, through no fault of their own.

3/  Judges and magistrates should lead by example. Why ask all those concerned to come to the District/Intermediate Courts at 9.30 a.m. and at 10.30 to the Supreme Court when very often, the magistrates and judges are themselves late, sometimes very late? Justice cannot be delivered if it is subject to the whims and caprices of those charged with the principles of equity and fairness....

4/  It is always desirable to replace old blood with new one, but the way some judges have been appointed despite them having never written a judgement prior to their promotion does not augur well for the quality of future judgements...

5/  The days of selecting magistrates and letting them loose on the public without any training are an obvious anachronism that really needs to be abandoned. The urgency and importance of opening an Ecole de Magistrature cannot be overstated.

6/  The selection and appointment of Senior Counsels and Attorneys should be based on merit and not on obscure considerations, like religion, caste, level of sycophancy, the right Freemason Lodge, etc. It is high time to end the incestuous relationship between the bench, the DPP’s office, and AG’s office. This is nothing new as it had been recommended in the Mackay report, many years ago...But we Mauritians like to think that we are modern people despite many of us still being in the Dark Ages, especially those in authority...

I am sorry if this sounds personal, but if your husband is appointed as Senior Counsel, despite the many, many skeletons that he carries, the judiciary will suffer yet another blow to its already tarnished reputation.

There is now a general perception that La Kwizinn has spread its dirty tentacles into the judiciary, and I hope the suggestion that you often allocate opposition cases to judges with a family history of MSM fanatical allegiance is wrong...

It would be wonderful if you, as our first female Chief Judge, could bring about all the changes that the judiciary absolutely needs, and which previous male Chief Judges have all ignored..But so far, you have shown a passivity that sits ill at ease with the high office that you hold. Leadership by example and by authority seems to have passed you by, and people say that things have become distinctly worse since you became Chief Judge. 

I'll give you one example which cries out for your leadership: the haphazard, apparently willy nilly way bail is given to people suffering from the biggest abomination in our so called justice system: the provisional charge. How can bail be granted to someone accused of sexual abuse of children and yet refused to someone like Darren "L'Activiste", a fairly inoffensive chap with unfortunately a big mouth? What is his offence? He has said what hundreds have already said on Facebook and in normal life: that the police often plant drugs on innocent people.

Are you happy with the way the police vandalised the home of Akhil Bissessur's girlfriend? Are you happy with the way the warrant was executed? Are you happy with the way the police and some zourlanus are deliberately committing contempt of court by selectively releasing material that supposedly points to guilt? Don't you feel any concern at all that there seems to be a direct line between the police interview room and some mercenary zourlanus?

Or are you going to mention the Separation of Powers between the Legislative, the executive, and the judiciary? A separation which no longer exists but which serves as a good excuse for inaction and complacency... Believe me, if you again choose to do nothing about the above issues, we will then continue to drift along the sea of mediocrity that is in danger of engulfing our whole justice system...and that  would be a real pity.

A real democracy cannot exist without a truly independent judiciary. You know that, I know that, we all know that...But only you can do something about it. Unfortunately, so far you have done nothing. And the judiciary is fast gaining the reputation of all other institutions with dubious nominees leading them, that the judiciary too is now a member of la kwizinn...

Mardi 30 Août 2022

1.Posté par Pada Le Batchara le 30/08/2022 20:31
Judges and magistrates share the genetic traits of many public servants that cause temptations to commit acts of fraud, nepotism and corruption.

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