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Bahamas : Acting Chief Justice Isaacs Addresses Judicial Independence.

Criticism of judicial decisions is expected, however, uninformed destructive attacks on judicial officers, or on the judiciary, is not acceptable said Acting Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs. The Acting Chief Justice made general observations on the concept of judicial independence during his remarks at the official recent opening of the 2018 Legal Year.

He said at its core, the concept means that judicial officers must be free from interference in the decision making process. Judicial officers are even independent of each other, but naturally there are times when a collegiate effort is required on one legal issue or another. The job of a judicial officer is to interpret the law in any given case, and a conscious effort must be made to block out all extraneous noises. At the administrative level, the judiciary has its life blood, funding, supplied by the executive. This arrangement is unavoidable since the purse strings of all government are properly controlled by the executive. The general liaison between the judiciary and the executive is the Attorney General, he said.

The Acting Chief Justice quoted the excerpt (below) from former Chief Justice, Sir Hartman Longleys 2016 address to underline the effort that must be made to ensure the independence of the judiciary, and for the executive and the judiciary to nurture the delicate balance between the branches which make up the democracy.The judiciary is not a department of the Office of the Attorney General. It is an independent branch of Government headed by the Chief Justice, a fact that seems to escape some in the administration at times. He indicated that there have been notorious examples of uninformed destructive attacks on judicial officers and the judiciary during the past year.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 17, 2018
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