• The Chief Justice ranks third in ceremonial protocol after the President and the Speaker.
• Cuts to the judiciary budget will close courts and delay administration of justice.
Friction between the Judiciary and the Executive has flared into the open (see P6-7).
Chief Justice David Marage yesterday said the Judiciary was being treated with contempt and protocol for the CJ is ignored at state functions. The CJ ranks third in the ceremonial hierarchy after the President and the Speaker.
The proximate clause was Treasury slashing the Judiciary's budget last week so many courts were closed and 15,000 cases placed on standby.
Maraga has reason to feel aggrieved. It is not right the CJ should have to ask permission from the Justice minister to travel abroad. The Judiciary is not subordinate to the Executive.
The Treasury said cuts were needed to facilitate the Big Four, including manufacturing. But the private sector cannot collect debts or resolve business disputes without an effective court system. It will cripple business if courts cannot handle cases promptly.
So the Executive should accord due respect to the CJ. It costs very little. And it should rescind cuts to the Judiciary as they will seriously hurt the economy.
Quote of the day: "In seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up — or else we all go down."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
He became the only American president to be elected for a third term on November 5, 1940