Many of us have heard Government’s Chief of Staff in recent times practically bragging taking Government matters to Court will not be heard for years, thereby refuting any ills which could fall on Government by its actions.
Many persons also know personally the delay which is now as much a part of the Court system as the coronavirus is a part of our lives.
The shameful part is that the lawyers are prepared to continue raking in humongous fees (win, lose, and there is no draw) while observing their clients lose case after case not because there is no injustice, but because the Bench and the Bar differ on points of law in the charges and documentation.
Sometimes, the issues between the Bench and the bar are so controversial that the justice issue does not even get heard, and the cases are thrown out and dismissed because of the error of the Bar or the refusal of the Bench to use the discretionary powers given for Remedial Justice to the aggrieved.
It has become the norm for the Bench to drop its high standards and become abusive to the Bar in ways which humiliate lawyers in the presence of the entire Court, thereby affecting the confidence of their clients, and really disrespecting the Bar. Justice demands the dignity which goes with the job, and our judicial system being English offers a myriad of eloquent means of expression which allows the Bench to remain dignified when handing down its reproofs.
Recently a 30-year-old black man trespassed onto the premises of an older woman threatening to ‘Fuck’ her up. The matter was fully threshed out by the Court illustrating the behaviour of the young man as unacceptable but ultimately ruling that there was no threat because there was no imminent danger. In other words it is OK now in our culture for young men to threaten to ‘F’ up old people in their own space as it is regarded as colloquial and acceptable.
What does this say about our Court and its acceptance of violent speech as now the norm in our society, and perfectly acceptable for young men to use filthy abuse on older women.
Which brings us around to that important and integral part of Justice represented in the discretionary powers of the Bench. Discretion is said to be the better part of valour and no doubt it’s link with the Bench is in the interest of justice, that where there has been wrong-doing, it be fully aired and discretion used to avert or right the wrong.
But discretion, like many virtues seems to grow with age, and among the current swathe of persons on the Bench are young females.
As the Court of Appeal deals mainly with facts and points of law, there seems to be less discretion and more law applied and it is not possible to appeal to higher Courts for failure to apply discretion.
This absence of discretion leaves persons seeking justice feeling their cases were not properly heard, or were unfairly adjudicated.
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