Two more judges to help lessen High Court overload
Two new judges joined the High Court bench on Tuesday when Honourable Lady Justice Johanna Prinsloo and her colleague, Honourable Mister Justice Boas Usiku were sworn in by the Chief Justice of Namibia, Honourable Justice Peter Shivute.
The two judges were appointed on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission by the President, HE Dr Hage Geingob in terms of Article 32(4)(a)(aa) of the Namibian Constitution.
Speaking at the august occasion, Chief Justice Shivute pointed out that Justice Prinsloo is a graduate of the Aspirant Judges Training Programme developed by the Ministry of Justice and taken over by the Office of the Judiciary when it separated from the ministry.
The High Court of Namibia has a division in Windhoek and another in Oshakati known as the Northern Local Division.
On the need for more judges, Justice Shivute stated “The volume and range of matters the Court is required to adjudicate on is now even more varied and complex. When legislation is passed which imposes additional responsibilities on the courts, consideration is not always given to what resources the courts will need to cope with the increased workload which comes with such legislation” adding that the work of the High Court has increased exponentially in the last 3 years and the burden the judges must bear with the adoption of the new High Court rules in 2014 is not often fully appreciated.
The funded establishment of the High Court makes provision for only 16 permanent judges’ positions in addition to the Judge President and the Deputy Judge-President. “This number is woefully inadequate to meet the increased workload of the court resulting in greater reliance on acting judges to assist. In short, the establishment has not kept pace with the increased demands placed on the judges” according to the Chief Justice.
That is felt even more acutely in the Civil Stream of the court which, at the Main Division has been organised into a ‘Civil Actions Stream’ and a ‘Motions Stream’.
“The two judges whose swearing-in we are here to witness will be deployed in the Civil Stream at the main division. I wish to congratulate them and thank them for accepting to serve in the judiciary to administer justice to all without fear or favour. I have no doubt that your appointments bring a wealth of experience and a great sense of collegiality to the High Court Bench. Doubtless, your dedication, enthusiasm and insight will immensely contribute to the working of the court” the Chief Justice said.