Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti President Michel Martelly has sworn in the members of the country’s new Supreme Council of Judicial Power, a body aimed at improving the stability and integrity of the courts in Haiti.
The body is comprised of nine members, including eight men and one woman, and led by Chairman Anel Alexis Joseph.
Martelly called them the “primary guardians of the independence of justice.”
“You enter history as the first people entrusted with the task of organizing the institution of the judiciary, to ensure the regular and effective functioning of courts, and to approve internal court rules,” he said.
The strengthening of the judiciary has been a major stated priority of Martelly and of international organizations like the United Nations Security Council.
The swearing-in ceremony, which took place at the School of Magistrates, was attended by the President of the Senate, Supreme Court judges, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and other government officials.
The day was a long time in coming, after years of stops and starts.
Indeed, the decree that would have implemented the Supreme Council was promulgated in 2005, followed by a similar law two years later.
“My government can finally be proud to carrying on to this day,” Martelly said. “It is a giant step in my policy of strengthening the Rule of Law.”
The council’s responsibilities include applying judicial policy, advising on any proposed status of the public record, defining the policy of the recruitment of judges and all court personnel, and working with the Executive Branch to develop training policy for judges and court officers.
The council will also prepare the judiciary’s budget.