His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Siilaanyo”, took a long overdue step, Sunday, by freeing the lower courts from under the administration of the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary.
According to yesterday’s presidential decree, the ‘Judiciary’ appendage to the ministry’s portfolio will be wholly transferred to the national judiciary commission (NJC). From now, it will be known as the Ministry of Justice, alone.
Referring to articles 37, 97, 99, 106, 107 and 108 of the Somaliland National Constitution and law Nr. 24/2003, stating the independence of the judiciary from all executive influence, the President repealed Presidential Decree No. 47/1996 which predated the National Constitution itself, which placed the lower courts within the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of ‘Justice & Judiciary’.
Using his executive powers, the president signed Decree No. JSL/M/WM/222-4481/012017, which, from henceforth, places the courts and their allotted budget under the NJC.
The President, it is stated, acknowledged concerns the Supreme Court, the NJC and the Prosecutor General raised to the President, previously, pointing out the need for a completely independent system to ensure that justice is dispensed without adverse influence from non-judiciary authorities.
The Honorable Chief Justice, Adan Haji Ali, reacted to the President’s move on his Twitter page.