West Bank and Gaza Strip
Time to Ascertain the Validity of the Appointment of All Judges and Prosecutors and to evaluate their Performance in order to face the Crisis of Performance and Judicial Backlog
Informed sources told MUSAWA that January’s number of circulated files at the Court of Cassation reached 4229 of civil cases and 232 of criminal cases, which were circulated from previous months. As for the number of cases received during January (until the 29th), it reached 153 civil cases, and 79 criminal cases, a total of 4382 civil cases and 311 criminal cases. Whilst the number of adjudicated cases in the same month was 87 rights cases and 59 criminal cases, whereas the number of cases circulated for February reached 4295 of civil cases and 252 of criminal cases.
MUSAWA finds that these serious numbers give an indication of the prolongation of conflicts’ phenomenon, which might fall under the umbrella of denial of justice, and which deepens the mistrust gap between the citizens and the judiciary, and thus, demand assessing the performance and efficiency of the High Court’s judges, within the framework of assessing the performance of all who fills a position in the Public Prosecution or the Judiciary, starting from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom, and without any exceptions. In the light of the increasing number of appeals against judicial appointments that were filed against a large number of the High Courts’ judges and the Attorney General, the validity of appointment proceedings of all judges and prosecutors must be ascertained, and the High Judicial Council’s minutes of meetings, especially those related to appointing and promoting, must be published, in addition to the complaints referred to the Judicial Inspection Service and the actions taken in their regard, including the action taken by the Judges Disciplinary Council, and the reasons for not referring a number of cases and appeals filed with the Supreme Court of Justice and not taking cognizance of and ruling upon them duly without delay, must be identified, as such delays may fall under the umbrella of affecting and denying the right of access to justice.
MUSAWA believes that it is high time to form a credible and independent community committee to carry out this mission to enable a real and serious reform that guarantees a legal, neutral, impartial, qualified, and competent institutional hierarchy as a part of the process of reforming and unifying the components of the justice system.
Issued on 31/1/2019