Media should not be misused: Chief Justice

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

CHIEF Justice Sir Albert Palmer has reiterated that any complaints against judicial officers or matters before the court should be raised through proper channels and not the media.

Sir Albert made the comment following numerous complaints in the media last year over delays in progressing cases and suggestions that allocation of cases were being manipulated.

He said there are four judges dealing with civil cases and matters are allocated at random by the Registrar or as directed by the Chief Justice.

“It is rather unfortunate the media is being misused to tarnish the image of the work of the Courts in the country.

“I cannot stress enough that when a matter has been allocated, the matter becomes sub judice, and that is under judicial consideration or in the course of trial,” Sir Albert said.

He adds, the basis for the sub judice rule is that it is the role of the courts to deal with legal issues that are before it.

“The court’s role should not be overthrown by others making public statements about how these issues should be dealt with.

“I have noted some writers who like to generalise criticism about a matter before the courts, which is wrong. Once a matter is before the court, any complaints or issue should be properly raised with counsel and not in the media with view to tarnish the image of the judiciary. Some even challenged the Chief Justice on Facebook to make a comment on issues, which I reiterate is wrong and improper.

“I call that Facebook nonsense, I am not on Facebook, have no intention of joining and may only do so if there is good reason for it,” Sir Albert said.

Sir Albert adds that any complaints should be directed through proper channels to raise the matter to the registrar.

He further said that he have chosen deliberately in certain instances not to respond to some criticisms because it is not worth the time responding to those criticisms.

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