Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Former Minister of Justice Criticizes Unconstitutional Supreme Court Judges

AHP News – March 9, 2007 – English translation (Unofficial)� �

A former Justice Minister denounces the fact that the Supreme Court is functioning with illegal members under a constitutionally elected government �

Port-au-Prince, March 9, 2007 (AHP)- Former Justice Minister� Camille Leblanc asserted Friday that some of the current membership of the country’s high court, the Court of Cassation, do not have a legal mandate because the procedures employed to name several of the court’s members did not comply with requirements of the Haitian Constitutions. �

Judges on the Court of Cassation were named by de facto President Boniface Alexandre and as a result do not have a legal mandate, according to Mr. Leblanc. �

The former Justice Minister urged that this situation be corrected through the submission of the names of these judges to the Haitian Parliament which would then result in their obtaining a constitutional mandate as was done, he said, in the case of the director general of the national police, Mario Andr�sol.

In December 2005, Boniface Alexandre dismissed five judges whose 10 year terms in office have still not expired. He replaced them with individuals close to his government and had them take the oath of office at the National Palace so as to bypass the protests. �

We find ourselves in a delicate situation where we have to accept the decisions of the courts that are made by judges appointed by a de facto government, Camille Leblanc observed. It is abhorrent that the country’s highest judicial authority functions with illegally appointed members under a constitutional government, he said. � �

As to the conflict that prevented the election of the president of the Bar of Port-au-prince, the former Justice Minister considered that only the assembly of lawyers has the necessary authority to take action in this situation.� �

Those elections were postponed several times due to disagreements among the lawyers.� �

I shall ask the acting president of the bar, G�rard Gourgues, to convene the assembly as soon as possible to help unblock the situation, declared Mr. Leblanc.�

As to rumors about a possible reshuffling of the cabinet of Ministers, Camille Leblanc criticized what he termed the passivity of the current cabinet with regard to the crucial problems the country is facing. �

He criticized� the government for having crafted its general policy in the context of the international situation.

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