Law Association: Delayed judgements, justice denied
The Law Association today issued a statement in response to reports that the Court of Appeal had failed, in some instances, to deliver judgements after more than four years. The Association stated that the unexplained and excessive delays had to be resolved with urgency. The following is the statement of the Law Association.
The Law Association notes the report of an outstanding judgment of the Court of Appeal of more than four years, subsequent news items and editorials in the daily newspapers concerning delays in the delivery of judgments.
The Law Association expresses deep concern of unexplained and excessive delays in the delivery of judgments and reiterates the adage “justice delayed is justice denied”.
However, the issue of delay in the delivery of judgments must be viewed contextually. The statistics in the Annual Report of the Judiciary records the laudable achievements of the Judiciary as a whole in the hearing and disposition of cases.
The most recent Annual Report of the Judiciary (2012-2013) records that in the Court of Appeal 511 new appeals (exclusive of Family Court and Petty Civil Court appeals) were filed in 2012 – 2013, an increase of 16.4% over the preceding period. During the same period, 578 appeals were disposed of, an increase of 11% over the preceding period. Similarly, more than 5,000 new cases are filed and disposed of each year in the civil jurisdiction of the High Court.
The recent issue as raised in the media more importantly gives an opportunity for pause to consider the broader underlying issues that affect the Judiciary and the administration of justice.
The Law Association issues a clarion call to the Judiciary to treat the issue of delay in the delivery of judgments as a priority, and resolves to support the Judiciary in finding solutions that accord with the constitutional right to due process.