Annual Report 2013
FOREWORD BY CHIEF JUSTICE FMS EGONDA-NTENDE
This Annual Report, 2013, is the second annual report that the Judiciary of Seychelles has produced in a row, back to back, establishing what I believe will now be a culture going forward to do so annually before the 31st March of each year.
I wish to congratulate the Co-Chairs of the Committee and the members that were charged with the responsibility of producing this report for a job well done. For the second year running we have a full documented account of the performance of the Judiciary for the year 2013. The report is accurate and critical reflecting a high level of self-examination. It is clear from the report that progress has been made in several areas of the operation of the Judiciary. I wish to thank all my colleagues, staff of the Judiciary and the other stakeholders with whom we must work for the industry that they exhibited in 2013.
It is equally clear that there is room for improvement in many areas. Those areas have been pointed out making it easy for the line managers and individual officers to respond with the right action.
2013 was a reasonably productive year and when you take into account the situation obtaining in 2009 it is fair to say that an unacceptable situation has been turned around to a new position of adequacy. Our vision however is nothing short of excellence. We have more work to do to get there but are well on our way. The foundations have been laid.
In 2013 one of the two Judges supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat arrived and started work to reduce the backlog that has plagued the Supreme Court for some years now. The second Judge is expected in April 2014. The Judges are here initially for three years but should it be necessary the Commonwealth Secretariat support can be extended for another three years to rid us of the backlog. In addition we have had the assistance of two court administration experts, one supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat [Ms Linda Dalton] on a short term consultancy and the other supported by the EUCAP Nestor Programme [Ms Agatha Bouten] on a medium term basis, who are working to strengthen our administration and work processes including skills training for our staff.
I take this opportunity to welcome into Senior Management Mrs Juliana Esticot, who joined the Judiciary as the Registrar of the Supreme Court in November 2013 together with Mr R Desilva, the Financial Controller, filling positions that had been vacant for more than a year. In a special way I do recognise the long service of Mrs J Lepathy, Deputy Registrar, who will clock 35 years of continuous service with the Judiciary in April 2014.
I assure the users of the courts that we remain committed and passionate as ever to serve them in a timely, impartial and independent manner, even as I come to the end of my tenure at the helm of this organisation. I can only say, as our national motto affirms, ‘Finis Coronat Opus’ ‘The end justifies the work!’
20 March 2014