HAITI'S JUDGES' THREAT OF WORK STOPPAGE DOWNPLAYED BY MINISTER
(Defend Haiti) -
PORT-AU-PRINCE - On Wednesday, the Minister of Justice, Pierre Michel Brunache, downplayed threats of a work stoppage by Haitian judges who demanded the independence of the judiciary through the establishment of the members of the supreme court within a month.
Justice Minister Brunache said that the powers that be are not intimidated by the threats of a strike launched by the National Association of Haitian Magistrates (ANAMAH).
The ANAMAH says President Michel Martelly has not fulfilled his promise of finally establishing the Supreme Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ), supreme court, which is to be seated with nine (9) members; but so far, since October, only the president of the supreme court, Anel Alexis Joseph, has been able to fill the court, leaving four seats vacant.
"I understand the impatience of ANAMAH, but this impatience won't make us rush. We will go according to the agenda we established..."
"I deplore that ANAMAH is applying pressure and are trying to employ some sort of ultimatum to power. Unfortunately we don't function this way."
"There aren't any motions, any pressure, or any ultimatum that will make a natural process come to place..."
The minister of justice said that establishing the supreme court is a priority for the executive but he did not provide a date for when it would be done.
Minister Brunache says the process to appoint these judges will continue in its course and a supreme court should be established by the end of 2012.
"I am sure that by the end of 2012 [the supreme court] will be an absolute reality. This process may take 3 months or it could take 6 months. I don't want to make the engagement of 1 month and then not respect it, so I give myself the margin of 12 months."
The National Association of Haitian Magistrates demanded in October that the Head of State work to appoint members of the supreme court, but as 2011 comes to a close they do not believe the work towards establishing it is being done.
President Michel Martelly renewed his promise to the nation on December 21st, when a visiting delegation from the Club of Madrid and members of different sectors were convened to solve the political crisis in Haiti.