High Court resumes business
Last year was an eventful year for the High Court as it marked the introduction of the Judicial Case flow Management (JCM) system which intends to curb the delay and costs in delivering judgements, said Judge President Petrus Damaseb at the official opening of the High Court legal year.
Damaseb said that judges use different techniques in the way they handle cases, however he will make sure that the core essence of the system will remain unchanged.
He further added that although he welcomes open debate on the issue of delay in the delivery of reserved judgements, it should be done with due regards to the rights and dignity of members of the judiciary.
Damaseb also reminded judges that they are there to serve the public and that the public wants to see results.
The public as well as the legal fraternity has taken issue with the delay in finalising judgements.
Close to 120 reserved judgements – most of them as old as three years – are yet to be delivered.
Damaseb also said that four judgements dating from 2002 remain outstanding, as are four reserved judgements dating back to 2003, five from 2004, two from 2005, five from 2006 and three from 2007. Another 13 judgements reserved in 2008 are still to be delivered, while 17 reserved judgements from 2009 remain outstanding.
According to the judge president, 2011 represents the highest total and the majority of the delayed judgements are three years or less.
Damaseb continued to say that the High Court needed a way to find more innovative ways to deal with the criminal cases brought before the high and lower courts.
In terms of the new act, Damaseb said that there will be another High Court division in Oshakati, in February in addition to the division in Windhoek. And that they plan to hold a workshop with the practitioners in the north in order to discuss the modus operandi for the implementation of the civil case list at Oshakati.
He further added that despite the threats of physical violence being made by individuals against judges, the judiciary will continue to perform it’s duties and that if this sort of abuse does not come to an end, measures will be taken to protect their independence and integrity as the judiciary.