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Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] OUR BROKEN DOWN JUSTICE SYSTEM...ACCORDING TO AN ANONYMOUS LAWYER


Rédigé par E. Moris le Samedi 20 Avril 2019

"The acid test of any legal system is not the greatness or the grandeur of its ideal concepts, but whether, in fact, it is able to produce order and justice."-- Lee Kuan Yew



Unfortunately, there are so many hurdles, often placed by the very people whose professed aim is to help provide justice, on the path of true order and justice in Mauritius.

The new Chief Judge, Eddy Balancy, at least has the merit of talking about the many problems in our justice system, but the lukewarm attempts for reform so far have failed to convinced me that the drastic surgery required for a long over due rehabilitation and recovery of our justice system is around the corner.

I have often complained about the mediocrity of many of our legal practitioners and how our court system seems designed to protect the rich, the powerful, and the well connected; how 'officers of the court' are often the ones responsible for the interminable delays in bringing cases to a final outcome, and how the biggest vice de procedure is the one used by those embedded in the system to obfuscate, prevaricate, and to render the whole justice system a meaningless and deeply frustrating experience for many; and incredibly expensive, with lawyers demanding payments up front, irrespective of the meretricious and poor service of these so called professionals....often with the blessings of the very people whose job it is to ensure independence, objectivity, and fairness to ALL parties, the judges and magistrates.

I have been sent a four page letter by an anonymous barrister, which basically repeats the many defects in our justice system that I have been highlighting for many years. The letter has been sent to all those concerned with the administration of justice in Mauritius, and I am sure many will hate me for making it public...Ah well, that gives me yet another opportunity to imbibe a nice gin and tonic in order to deal with the hurt of disapproval from sa ban gran dimounes la...

1/ She talks about postponements, the bane and scourge of so many clients who see their cases drag on for years, with no sign of a resolution of their grievances. She rightly asks: " HOW ON EARTH CAN A MAGISTRATE POSSIBLY CONDUCT 6-7 TRIALS IN ONE DAY?"

It stands to reason that many will be postponed time after time, and castigates the court for allowing its own processes to be abused so openly by the professionals whose duty is primarily to their clients and to see that justice is done asap.

2/ Magistrates. She describes some of them as " great, polite, firm, understanding, accommodating, and professional". She lacerates many others as " miserable, and always in arrogant, fighting mood", with "faces as if they have had fights with their partners". Some even try to get defence counsels to get their clients to plead guilty! And some are very vindictive...

She rightly asks: " Why do prosecutors with case files feel the need to sit with magistrates if they are not discussing cases?", and describes it as crazy and highly unprofessional. I would say it is an abuse of power and is at the core of the corruption in our justice system.

She describes proceedings at the Bail and Remand Court as "unbelievable", where prosecutors and ushers control the proceedings and not the magistrates!

She accuses magistrates of treating everyone, whether the accused is unrepresented or has a barrister, "LIKE SHIT"...I am afraid this is an experience that many with the unfortunate and scandalous experience of stupid provisional charges can readily identify with.

3/ BAR COUNCIL/ FEES. She describes the Bar Council as "a venue for a political bazaar or like a political brothel". Apparently there are 4 groups in the Bar council: political group, SLO group, "face-matching" group, and the Attorney General's group. They do not do anything intellectually stimulating and " behave more like enemies whilst pretending to be confreres." Oh, and the Bar Council charges a very high fee and does not represent value for money.

Read the section on the State Law Office and the terrible deficiencies in that department, including lateness on advice to police on criminal matters, files gathering dust in the DPP's office, stands on serious constitutional matters taking months and months to solidify, etc. Read about the number of serious drugs and other major cases where incomprehensibly, no objection to bail is put forward, esp if you are a client of one of those so called tenors du barreau that our zourlanus love so much.

As for the "lazy, useless Registry employees", she is convinced that "they should pick the best prize for NOT being a public servant"!....I, for one, will not dispute that assessment.
4/ The last part is about parking problems for lawyers...

We all know that there are severe problems in our justice system. The only people who do not think so are our politicians, the Bar Council, our judges and magistrates, the SLO and the DPP, and various lawyers and solicitors. The reason is simple: our justice system serves to cover up the criminality of those in power and to allow the corruption that is endemic in our institutions to flourish without fear of any judicial intervention.

If you have any doubts about this, remember all that it takes for you to see at first hand the arrogance and incompetence of our magistrates and the court system is for some idiot to complain to the police about ANYTHING that relates to you: you will be charged provisionally and the magistrate will rubber stamp it the next day and you will be in limbo for months and years, with no right to travel abroad but with a compulsion to visit your local gablou at least once a week. God helps you if you are late by 5 minutes for this little tryst!

And you are supposed to feel gratitude when the DPP gets off his arse and decides that there was never any case to answer in the first place--months and years after the insane provisional charge!





Samedi 20 Avril 2019

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