A strike by judges in South Sudan has paralyzed operations in the Judiciary, adding to the misery of the country currently hit by a civil war. While supporting the peaceful industrial action, the Communist Party of South Sudan has called on the government resolve the strike, which threatens the rule of law.
In the light of the historic strike that was announced by Judges across the country which is entering its second month due to lack of a response as well as unsettled demands with the Judiciary of South Sudan, as quoted in their memorandum dated 20/April/2016, including the following issues:
- Resignation of Chief Justice
- Provision of transportation for judges
- Provision of stationery
- Provision and increment of sitting halls for judges
- Provision of identity cards for judges and judiciary staff
- Increment of Judges’ salaries as directed by (Resolution No.14/2016) dated 03/02/2016 from the Council of Ministers of the Republic of South Sudan)
- Provision of health insurance
- Enactment of pension act for Judges
- Promotion of Judges who came from Sudan Judiciary to the Judiciary of South Sudan
Their strike is a natural outcome of the complete paralysis of the Judiciary and the state apparatus. The Judiciary is considered as one of the most important pillars of a state after the Legislature and the Executive and its absence means the absence of the rule of law.
The dispute between the judges and the Chief Justice had intensified following the strike; although the judges had surpassed it, following a plea from the Chief Justice, they resumed their work, but very soon they renewed their strike due to lack of response from the Judiciary.
The situation worsened and prompted the Presidency to intervene by asking the Judges for more time. In response, a Presidential Inquiry Committee was formed to look into these demands. Then the President promised the Judges a response to their demands and the Judges suspended their strike for the third time.
Although, the committee has finished its work and reported it to the Presidency, unfortunately the Presidency ignored the demands of the Judges because the regime is not serious in resolving the issue.
Currently, the situation that our country is facing in the absence of the Judiciary means the absence of the rule law, because of the insistence of the regime to maintain the current Chief Justice instead of replacing or sacking him to set up an efficient Judiciary.
For a Judiciary that will ensure the delivery of justice on the basis of above, the Communist Party of South Sudan wishes to state the following:
First: The party praises the peacefulness of the Judges’ strike as a constitutional and democratic means for demanding their rights.
Second: The party completely supports the Judges in their strike to realize their demands.
Third: The party believes that these demands shall contribute in creating a viable Judiciary in South Sudan, therefore:
- The Chief Justice must resign immediately from his position to avoid any legal gap in the Judiciary and in the country or the Presidency must interfere by replacing or sacking him.
- The Judiciary must be professionally, administratively and financially independent and must preserve their right of electing a Chief Justice instead of the Presidential appointments
The Secretariat of Central Committee
Communist Party of South Sudan