20th October 2020
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Gov’t advised to reinstate judges as ordered by EAC court

Author: Jale Richard, Okot Emmanuel | Published: Monday, July 27, 2020

A courtroom at the EA Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania | Credit | Courtesy

An advocate has advised the government of South Sudan to comply with the ruling of the East African Court of Justice that ordered the reinstatement of judges dismissed illegally in 2017.

President Salva Kiir dismissed the 13 judges and justices through a presidential decree when they laid down their tools demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut, whom they said had failed to manage the Judiciary.

However, Justice Malek Mathiang Malek, who was a Justice of the Court of Appeal challenged the decision at the East African Court of Justice.

Last Friday, the court ruled against the government of South Sudan and ordered it to reinstate the dismissed judges.

A section of the South Sudanese has however raised concerns on whether the government of South Sudan will respect the regional court order.

‘Not a love letter’

But lawyer Philip Anyang believes the government has an obligation to respect decisions of regional bodies that it subscribes to.

“The suspension itself was illegal. The suspension contravened the constitution, and that it’s what was challenged at the East African Court of Justice,” he argued.

“So if the court has ordered that these people should be reinstated…they should be reinstated because it is an order of the court.

“It is not a love letter or something issued from the streets. It is the court of a community that we subscribe to; that is the East African Community that we are embers to and we must abide by the orders of the court.”

Lawyer Anyang further says there will be consequences if the government does not comply with the court orders.

“If it [gov’t] doesn’t comply with it, the petitioner will move back to court to see how this order can be enforced,” Anyang warned.

The government of South Sudan has 15 days to comply with the order.

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