Judicial independence vital for future: Sir Albert

Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer. Photo by RNZ
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STRENGTHENING judicial independence is vital for the future of this nation and her people, says Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer.

He said it is well recognised that the economic prosperity of any developing country like depends, at least in part on the confidence of the international community to invest here.

Sir Albert said, wherever the justice system is not robustly and demonstrably independent, investors can have little confidence that any commercial dispute will be justly determined and their investment properly protected.

” Wherever the institutions of justice are unable to function to meet the legitimate needs of the communities they serve, there can be no real justice.

“Wherever the enforcement of the criminal law is at the whim of the few; and powerful individuals act with impunity outside the law, justice is neither done, nor seen to be done”, He said.

Sir Albert said it is for these reasons that the National Judiciary seeks the next step towards greater institutional independence and be prepared to assume the real burden of that greater independence.

“And it is for one clear reason that the people of Solomon Islands deserve a system of justice that is organised along modern principles of judicial independence: to assist each and every one of them in their journey towards a better life and greater opportunities for their children, Sir Albert said.

He also highlighted that the lockdown and community transmission that has recently impacted Honiara city last year has brought to the forefront the importance in having the Judiciary’s budget secured so that its activities can be delivered without delay and hampered by the unavailability of finances as has been the case.

 Court cases and circuits in the last year again have had to be scaled down, cancelled or deferred in some instances. 

“This is highly unsatisfactory and needs to be seriously addressed.  Every year we are faced with this same situation and it is high time this issue is looked into by the Government”, Sir Albert highlighted.