Paul Lismore


Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Samedi 30 Novembre 2019

"Justice is not a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and the respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men."--Lord Atkins.

Whether we like it or not, judges are in the category of people to whom our default attitude, as law-abiding citizens, is respect, even admiration.

Many judges and magistrates expect us to not only believe in their infallibility but also in their essential righteousness, even though many of their decisions and attitude leave a lot to be desired. The law on some points leaves a great deal up to the judge, particularly in the matter of sentencing, where there is usually a maximum, occasionally a minimum, and not much else.

We hear the justifiable growls of protest and anger when the courts in Mauritius seem weirdly lenient towards those guilty of committing sex crimes, domestic violence, or crimes of violence that makes many of our lives hell.

More often than not, a slap on the wrist is given to the weirdo, especially after he has recited the mantra de rigeur in those courts of " Mo dimane la cour exkiz. Zamai mo pou refer sa"...until the next time which usually is not that far away.

No other public service shows the degree of incompetence, laziness, and maladministration that our judicial system consistently displays. Trials that have taken years to be completed are often held up because the magistrates and judges apparently need months if not years to write their judgements.

The Privy Council has condemned this, esp in a case judged by Paul Lam Shang Leen, where the Learned Judge took well over two years to write his judgement which in any case extended to only 3 pages!

Defence motions clearly designed to delay matters apparently need a few weeks or months for the magistrates or judges to decide on their admissibility when UK courts would deal with the matter within one hour of the motion having been heard. Our judges and magistrates cannot plead ignorance as most of them studied and practised law in the UK....

If there has been an enormous increase in violence in our society, one must reluctantly blame the judiciary for its apparently lackadaisical approach to these crimes that destroy the lives of the victims. Release on bail seems to be the norm for all sorts of psychopaths who enjoy making the lives of decent people a misery.

You like beating your wife up? No problem! If the police can be arsed to show any concern, the chances are that the thug will be released on bail the next day so that he can continue to cause havoc in the family home whilst doing everything possible for the victim to withdraw her original complaint. Same for the idiots driving recklessly and killing our innocent citizens, esp if drunk.

The chap (invariably a man, although lately some women too have been 'caught') will be released the next day and allowed to continue to drive again. No one has ever even considered the proposition that a car used recklessly to endanger life is as much a dangerous weapon as a knife or a gun is, and should therefore be confiscated.

You would not release a shooter and let him continue to use his gun, would you? So, why is it that difficult to confiscate vehicles, sell them, and use the proceeds in order to help victims? Why do we always return an unregistered, uninsured vehicle to its owner? Only our judges and magistrates can detect some logic in returning an offensive weapon to an offender....

Let me give you some examples of judges breaking the law because well, they are the law!

In June 2017, Judge Mala Devat delivered a judgement in the case of Jacques Gérard Philippe Hitié v Julien Doger de Speville & ors. Mr Hitié applied for an injunction against Mr de Speville restraining inter alia the latter to carry out any boat repair activities near his property . Devat Judge should have recused herself as she is apparently very, very close to Mr Hitié evidenced by Mr de Speville's videos/ photos showing the Judge partying by the swimming pool of Mr Hitié. On 19 June 2017, after 7 months adjudicating on a serious and urgent matter, Judge Devat found against Mr de Speville, i.e she granted the injunction to her close, close friend, Mr Hitie....

Mr de Speville appealed to the Supreme Court to quash the judgement. The case was scheduled before the Chief Justice Eddy Balancy and Judge Rita Teeluck.

Mr Balancy intervened and did his best to make the parties come to terms, because otherwise the judgement of the Appellate Court would have been detrimental to a sister Judge.

Please note that in this case, all the authorities concerned , Ministries of Environment, Tourism, Health ,Tourism Authority, District Council were in favour of Mr de Speville, and yet the Judge, in all her wisdom, discarded unbiased and objective affidavit evidence, and granted the application of dear Mr Hitie...

According to PSC regulations, a public servant's employment may be terminated in case of fraud and/ or dishonesty. Not disclosing your interest in a Case involving someone very close to you and then giving judgement in his favour in spite of all the evidence confirming that he has no valid grounds, doesn't this disclose a case of bad faith and dishonesty warranting at least a consideration re termination of employment?

The law here applies only for the ti dimoune whereas the Judges sitting in their ivory tower apparently have a licence to pervert the course of justice....

There is another judge who is a compulsive gambler and who often borrows money from members of the legal profession. Ask yourselves this: What independence will he have if the same person who has lent him money appears before him in a case! It’s the same judge who acting as an arbitrator gave an award which baffles all legal principles, which makes you wonder what principles drove him to give that particular award....

There is a female judge who tried to commit suicide when she was a magistrate...apparently because of another love affair that had disappointed her.

I have told you often enough that the phenomenon of papa/piti is not restricted to our politicians only. Our 'learned' people also love to indulge in these rather incestuous games. You know about Gavin Glover often appearing in cases judged by his father, Sir Victor Glover, much against normal Deontological Ethics...and how so many saints who happen to be Gavin Glover's clients, or at least from his Chambers, find the Commission de Pourvoi en Disgrace, chaired by Papa Victor very helpful and accommodating with their applications for remission/release....

There is the case of Magistrate Roy Seeboruth who fled the country before he was arrested on allegations of bribery, and is now settled in the UK.

Another issue is the promiscuous relationship between the AG’s office/ DPP’s office, and the judiciary. There is a musical chair going on between the three. Very often, this results in the newly appointed Magistrates being unable to get rid of his/ her prosecution hat, and this is reflected in the magistrate's decision to grant the police's hopeless application for the international arrest warrant against Dawood Rawat.

The level of our judiciary is a reflection of our educational system. The parrot learning and cramming have produced a generation of lawyers who come from the best schools and have excellent results on paper but who are intellectually shallow.

How come you can become a Magistrate after only 2 years practice as a lawyer? This is an absolute nonsense. It’s like giving a razor to a monkey! Magistrates have a lot of power under the law and if they do not have the proper training, it’s obvious that chaos lies ahead.

Because they hold so much power, a few magistrates have become big headed, rude, and arrogant . For instance there is a Magistrate at the Intermediate Court who rarely if ever shows any manners and who always comes in Court at 10 am when Court business officially starts at 9.30. And she never, ever apologises for her lateness !

How is it possible to appoint a Master & Registrar who apparently knows fuck all about Sale by Levy, and yet adjudicates on these matters? Same applies to her deputy who comes in Court as a lay person to follow the sale by levy procedure when she is not at the bench.....

The blame should be laid at the door of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission which is blatantly failing to address an urgent issue, i.e. the obviously unsatisfactory quality of our judiciary. By automatically promoting people on the basis of seniority, the JLSC is doing a gross disservice to the country.

By the way, the Mackay Commission recommended inter alia that senior members of the bar could be recruited as Judges, but the empire builders have made sure that this will not happen..

Judges who are grossly incompetent are tolerated, laziness and lack of diligence seem to have become endemic in a judicial system that is crying out for reform from top to bottom. Justice is an essential element in the good running of any democratic country. If the quality of our justice system is being questioned, then the future does not look bright.

People who have never written a judgement in their lives and/ or have spent their careers as criminal counsel in the DPP’s office are asked overnight to decide on civil/ commercial/ administrative issues ! This is abhorrent, by any standard.

If nothing is done, then it will provide a sure recipe for the population to lose faith in what should be the pillar of our democratic system: A decent, fair, unbiased, competent, transparent, and well administered justice system. Those who refuse to accept this basic observation as a true reflection of people's attitude towards our decrepit and almost obsolete justice system are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Samedi 30 Novembre 2019

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