If only this was true!

Posted: 19/05/2015 in Vanuatu
Tags: ,

If only this was true here in Vanuatu……

Chief Justice Lunabek“Dishonesty, incompetence, inefficiency, and any form of unbecoming conduct are impermissible and will not be tolerated in the Judiciary or in the legal profession”
– Chief Justice Lunabek, February 19th 2015

As one who watches the workings of the Courts from time to time, I have come to respect the apparent professional competence and integrity of Chief Justice Lunabek and his Supreme Court colleagues.

Not so when it comes to the operations of the Magistrates’ Court.

I am speaking from personal experience when I say that the Vanuatu Magistrates’ Court is certainly inefficient, extremely incompetent and definitely dysfunctional.

Corrupt as well? The answer to that may be found in one such definition –  “Judicial corruption refers to corruption related misconduct of judges, through receiving or giving bribes, improper sentencing of convicted criminals, bias in the hearing and judgement of arguments and other such misconduct”.

My perception comes from a recent case in which an elderly expat woman was assaulted and abused in her own home without provocation – by a much younger, muscle-bound expat who had first attempted to break into her home with the full knowledge that she was home alone.

It took nine months for the case to be heard in Court. It took a further six months for the Judgement to be handed down by the magistrate concerned and that was only after the intervention of an embassy which pressured the Court for the case to be completed.

The Judgement delivered was not only erroneous in fact: it was also made after the acceptance of evidence from the defendant’s lawyer AFTER the trial, evidence that had NOT been reviewed first by the lady’s lawyers.

The Judgement delivered was so flawed and incomplete, one could be forgiven for thinking that it must have been written as an afterthought on the back of a luncheon serviette and passed to a typist for completion in response to the pressure of people wanting answers.

Justice in Vanuatu? Yeah, right!

  1. Roland Mortimer says:

    I could just spit! The good people of Vanuatu are being ripped off once again. Due to kastom or naivety people who should be looking after them are letting them down, looking after themselves and getting away with it.

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