The official ceremony of the re-opening of the Supreme Court of Seychelles (Judiciary of Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The Seychelles judiciary will “Learn from the past to build tomorrow”, announced Chief Justice Rony Govinden during the formal re-opening of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
This is the theme the judiciary will work on for the year 2024.
The traditional re-opening ceremony started with a mass, which was held this year at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in the capital Victoria, followed by a ceremonial parade of all members of the judiciary and the law profession from the Cathedral to the Victoria Gymnasium Car Park, eventually ending in a motorcade to the Palais de Justice at Ile du Port.
In his statement on the court’s reopening, the Chief Justice highlighted the successes and challenges the judicial system has encountered during the past year.
In 2023, again, the judicial system has been able to clear the backlog of cases; with the Court of Appeal clearing 90 percent of its backlog and the Supreme Court 78 percent.
While stating that he was satisfied with the progress in that area, Govinden also noted that work should be done this year to improve ‘the ambiguous perception the public has of the judiciary and the courts”.
This will be done through “ensuring a high standard of conduct and integrity of judges and judicial staff, holding accountable judges and judicial staff who attempt to commit disciplinary offences, improve the dissemination of information to the public on the functioning of the justice system and providing continuous training to judicial officers with the aim of strengthening their knowledge of our Rules of Ethics,” he explained.
The judiciary has already signed an agreement with the University of Seychelles that will allow eight of its employees to attend paralegal studies this year.
The judiciary is also working with the Attorney General’s Office to pass a Law Society Bill this year, to tackle those who are not carrying out their duties ethically.
“The Bar Association as it is, cannot sanction any of its members who have been found to commit some sort of infraction in their work,” he said.
“With this Bill, it will be easier to deal with those who have gone against the profession,” he expanded.
Govinden also expressed the wish to work closely with the media in a bid to better assist them when they are doing their reporting in court by ensuring that they “receive timely, up-to-date, and accurate judicial information.”
Meanwhile, the Magistrates’ Courts at Anse Royale is also expected to move, as the building was built in colonial times and can no longer safely house all the services we now offer.