OPPOSITION leader Matthew Wale says he supports the Chief Justice’s disappointment and further calls on the Government to invest more in the Judiciary.
The statement was made after the Chief Justice, Sir Albert Palmer publicly expressed his disappointment on the zero allocation to the Judiciary in the Government’s 2020 development budget, in his speech in Honiara on Thursday.
“I totally support the views expressed by the Chief Justice and I am equally dismayed at the way the Government has treated our Judiciary,” Wale said.
“The Government has neglected the role of the Judiciary for too long and this cannot go on,” he added.
“The Judiciary is the third arm of government and its role in providing a functional haven for our people to access justice when their rights have been violated either by the Government or others, is crucial.”
He stressed that this can only happen if the Government ensures that the Judiciary is kept financially independent at all times through funding support.
“It is therefore a very serious concern when plans to improve the Judiciary’s role is rejected by the executive arm of government.
“To me this means, either the Government does not know what it is doing, or it does not appreciate the role played by the Judiciary in securing a safe and just society for our people.
“It is public knowledge that our Judiciary has and continues to struggle to meet the challenges it faces with respect to its manpower, infrastructure and its administration needs.
“Our growing population, the dynamics of our changing societies and development means that our people are now becoming more aware of their rights and the role of the Judiciary.
“This is turn, has increasingly put strenuous pressure on our courts, court officials and the responsible ministry to cope with.
“These are very serious matters and ongoing neglect by the Government will only result in undesired increases in future.
“I therefore call on the Government to seriously take note of the Chief Justice’s disappointment and not to let it go easily.”
The Opposition Leader then cautioned the Government to invest more in the Judiciary if it wants to see this country grow in the directions we want for our future generations.