Government, SC must get on with business

The unprecedented executive-judiciary logjam has sparked an emotive and highly divisive debate about the future of the courts, but most lawyers are unanimous that both sides must get on with business rather than spar at the cost of litigants. Lawyers are, however, divided on who to blame for the deadlock that has arisen over the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) — which lays out the exact procedures to be adopted in the appointment of a judge — but agree that appointments can’t be held up as arrears pile up.

Be it ego or the government’s urge to have a decisive say in the appointment of judges, the unsuspecting sufferer is the poor litigant whose right to speedy justice is being denied. The gravity of the problem faced by litigants can be gauged from the fact that even if all sanctioned positions at the subordinate courts, the 24 high courts and the Supreme Court are filled, there would still be just 18 judges per million population (going by the 2011 Census).

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