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International NGO calls for court rulings to be made public

The judiciary has been urged to publicize court rulings since independence in order to set precedence for future court rulings.

This was revealed on Wednesday by Kathrin Maria Scherr, the Managing Director of Max Planck Foundation a Germany-based NGO supporting capacity building of law sector in South Sudan.

“What do we want to change? We want to support legal certainty in the country, transparency and openness from the side of the judiciary, making their judgement public so that the people know what the court ruled in cases,” Scherr said in an interview with The Dawn in Juba.

Max Planck Foundation provided 4400 copies of 2011 and 2012 law reports, and 2500 judicial circulars to the South Sudan Bar Association.

 “We are embarking on a very important journey for South Sudan, we are hoping that this will provide more legal certainty and it will provide for better communication between the lawyers and the judiciary, and the judgments that are issued and also for the public to know what the line of jurisprudence is,” Scherr said.

She said publishing law reports for 2011 and 2012 and the judicial circulars from 2006 to present day has cost 100,000 US dollars.

“We are aiming in the coming years to publish full law reports up to present for South Sudan and the legal fraternity, they have a possibility to actually refer to judicial precedence, not only courts when they rule in similar cases but also for advocates and generally for people to know what is the line of jurisprudence coming from the highest court in this country,” Scherr said.

James El-Teib, the Chairperson for South Sudan Bar Association, said the law reports donated by Max Planck Foundation will help the bar association and the entire legal fraternity to cite past judgements in court rulings. “The law report is going to close a big gap, it was not easy for us to cite law report when it is not there, but now any lawyer will now be in position of citing it in every case that he or she will be presenting before t

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