ATTORNEY-GENERAL (AG), John Muria (Jnr) says complaints from the public about non-enforcement of court judgments are testaments that there are currently existing challenges with the enforcement of court orders.
He said the AG continues to receive numerous correspondences from members of the public.
Mr Muria added that members of the public are complaining about non-enforcement of court judgments including but not limited to court orders not being complied with and/or not being enforced.
“Needless to say, the ultimate aim of every litigant is to see and enjoy the fruits of his/her litigation,” Mr Muria said.
“Obtaining a judgment in one’s favour is not the end of the case.
“Enforcement of the judgment is what clients want to see.
“As in the words of Lord Hewart CJ in R v Sussex Justices, ex p McCarthy: it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”
Mr Muria then reiterates calls on all stakeholders to make every effort to tackle this challenge this year.
He said he is looking forward to engage with the National Judiciary and the Bar in finding a solution to the issue.
“As I have earlier stated, these are our challenges and we must pool our limited resources to help address these challenges for advancement of our nation.
“We must not allow these challenges to go unnoticed and un-addressed.”
Sir Muria also reiterates the call for the need for a Sheriff’s Act.
The Sheriff’s Act will provide a legislative framework for the appointment of the sheriff, the deputy sheriff and sheriff’s officers and their functions, powers and duties.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer in his 2019 Legal Year speech revealed that the Office of the Sherriff had successfully completed 23 cases in 2017 and 27 enforcements were completed last year.
He said 13 of these were carried out over from the previous year.
“The office continues to be under resourced, with only four sheriff’s officers manning the office for enforcement purposes for both the High Court and the Magistrates’ Court.
“Despite submissions being made for new positions these have not been successful.
“The office notes too that a majority of enforcement orders involve repossession of land and which will require police assistance and presence during enforcement,” Sir Albert added.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN