The President of the Court of Appeal
Hon. Justice F. MacGregor
On the occasion of Farewell of the Chief Justice
26th August 2014
The Palais de Justice, Ile Du Port
A ─ Occasion
1. Farewell to the Chief Justice
2. Welcome to the new Judge, Hon. Akiiki-Kiiza
3. Recognize the work of the staff who remain with us now.
We have been one year together in this new building. We thank the staff for their patience and effort in adjusting to the new work environment.
B ─ Opening Remarks
1 – Not only do birds and planes fly but so does time…
2 – I am not here to respond to an appeal, but to appraise at this opportune moment the particular passage of time of one man, our departing Chief Justice.
3 – I, together with the then Acting Chief Justice Bernardin Renaud received you 5 years ago, at the International Airport.
4 – We worked together in the regular Senior Management Meetings.
5 – We cooperated in the initial and gradual planning of the ‘Palais de Justice’, often consulting with the builders and travelled together to China to oversee the designs of the building.
C ─ A Summary of your time,
1 – 2 recent documents by your judicial clerk Jessica Kerr capture your achievements. I can do no better than summarise these to outline the development to the judiciary borne out by your period in office.
2 – The 2 documents are entitled ‘Overview of Developments 2010 to date’, and ‘Strategic Review 2014’.
D ─ Overview of developments 2010 to date, refers to
Retention and Recruitment
Policies and Procedure
CCASS, Case Management
E ─ Strategic Review 2014
This document pertinently captures
Taking stock of projects that have been implemented;
Rating the extent of implemented projects achieved in the agreed strategic aim;
Pin-pointing areas for improvement in those projects;
Identifying newer projects to improve attainment of relevant strategic aims.
Streamlining Court Process
Innovating Case Management
Rationalizing legal aid scheme
Repositioning the public image of the Judiciary
Networking with partners
F ─ Rating and Comments
These documents were accompanied with a Questionnaire asking for Ratings and Comments and proposals for improvements.
It lists the particular areas under the heading of Aims, and the subjects entitled tell their own stories.
Eliminate undue delay in disposal of cases
Implement time standards for key court functions and processes;
Establish trial date certainty;
Produce timely & accurate records of proceedings;
Minimize the number of adjournments and implement an efficient order of scheduling cases;
Put in place an ICT-based case management system including data collection, analysis and reporting systems;
Reduce currently unsustainable pay outs;
Apply standard criteria for awarding legal aid;
Amend the Legal Aid Act & Code of Civil Procedure to reflect present realities;
Retain the services of reliable lawyers;
Pro-actively respond to service expectations of the public;
Expand the collection & equipment of the library;
Establish a fully-fledged ICT section;
Set-up an online database of the laws of Seychelles and case law; (In this respect, the website Seylii is to be exceptionally commended. It has already been described by some as a treasure site of the laws and jurisprudence of Seychelles).
Increase quality & quantity of court rooms;
Establish a fully-fledged ICT section;
Implement a protocol for establishing trial date certainty;
Secure consistent supervision of police officers serving court summons;
Uplift witness & jury fees in line with rate of inflation;
Set-up a justice forum to bring together agencies involved in the
administration of justice;
Multiply efforts to bolster rehabilitation of offenders.
G ─ Reactions/Response etc.
H ─ Give credit where and when it is due.
I recognize the contribution you have made together with other stakeholders and with the recognition and appreciation in terms of team spirit and team work.