|New Supreme Judicial Council sworn in|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 12:19|
The nine members of the long awaited Supreme Council of Judicial Power (CSPJ) were sworn in this week by President Michel Martelly in an official ceremony in Port-au-Prince.
Established by the recent amendments to the country's constitution, the CSPJ will now take responsibility over the country's judicial system from the Department of Justice. The move attempts to make the judicial system separate from executive power, addressing concerns of potential abuse of power.
"You enter history as the first entrusted with the task of organizing the judiciary, to ensure regular and effective functioning of courts [and] to approve the internal rules of courts," said Martelly in his address at the ceremony. "So you enter a new social, political and institutional dynamic...Be constantly vigilant in the fight you are called on to lead, in defense of an independence which would be an illusion without the moral authority of your office."
Anel Alexis Joseph was appointed as chairman of the new CSPJ, which also includes: elder legal expert, Thiers Malette; Les Cayes Court of Appeals Judge, Max Elibert; Vice President of the Supreme Court, Antoine Norgaisse; Dean of the tribunal of First Instance in Gonaïves, Gustave Pharaoh; Government Commissioner of Petit Goâve, Jean Alix Civil; Judge of the Peace in Delmas, Jean Etienne Mercier; leading advocate for Movement of Haitian Women for Education and Development (MOUFHED), Dilia Lemaire; and Dean of the Bar of Gonaïves, Nehemiah Joseph.
The Council will also be responsible for preparing a budget for the CSPJ, establishing appropriate policies for the recruitment of judges and all court personnel, and working with the Department of Justice to develop training policies for judges and court officers.
The ceremony comes after months of tension between government officials and several bar and judicial associations over the lengthy delay of the council's official launch. In April, the Bars Federation of Haiti (FBH) and the National Association of Haitian Magistrates (ANAMAH) launched a strike in protest of the delay.