Judiciary Reforms On The Way In Southern Sudan

The massive backlog of cases in South Sudanese courts is set to end, the new Government of Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development John Luk Jok has said.

The Minister said this when he paid a courtesy call at the Supreme Court of Southern Sudan following his appointment as the Minister to discuss pressing issues related to the administration of justice in South Sudan.

The Minister said the two institutions have a lot in common, adding that since they all deal with the administration of justice in South Sudan there is need for them to work together.

“The two institutions have agreed that we will do our best to clear this huge backlog of people in prisons. We have also raised concerns with the many hands that exercise the power of arrest where many people are sometimes arrested unjustifiably”, he said.

“We have agreed that arresting of persons need to be streamlined so that not any body can arrest people as we have found out that even for civil offense some people have been imprisoned or detained on civil case which should be settled without any arrest at all. We need to take some measures to cartel that”, Minister John Luk said.

He added that legal reforms are needed in South Sudan regardless of the outcome of next year’s referendum.

“We do not want to have a legal vacuum arising later and all the two institutions have to work together. We have very much agreed that a law reform commission be established as soon as possible to review our laws beginning with the constitution and the adoption of the laws in terms of the existing laws being applied in the Sudan. We shall present this to the government so that the commission is established soonest”, said the Minister.

The meeting was attended by top judiciary officials, including the President of the Supreme Court, Secretary General of the Supreme Court and justices in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

The Minister came with the Senior Council Generals from the Legal Affairs, Advocate General, Prosecutor General and the acting Undersecretary of the Ministry.

Speaking to the media a member of the Supreme Court and Secretary General of the Judicial Service Council Justice Ruben Madol Arol said they share common mandate of the administration of justice for South Sudan but admitted that they need to update themselves on formulation of certain policies.

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