On 10 January 2020, the Judiciary released its 2018/2019 Report. The Judiciary Report contains details of activities undertaken, developments and case statistics.
Download the 2018/2019 Report: Judiciary Report 2018/2019
Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey in the foreword to the Judiciary Report said the following:
The preparation of the Judiciary Report forces the Judiciary to step back from the day to day administration of the courts and reflect on the achievements of the Judiciary as a whole, challenges faced (and overcome) and what to prioritise as we move into 2020.
For ten years, through two successive strategic plans and Chief Justices, we have prioritised the reduction in the chronic backlog of cases that had accumulated over the years and which threatened the very legitimacy of the Judiciary. In 2015, when I began to tackle this problem I realised the necessity of increasing the number of judicial officers and actively managing the reduction of backlog as well as the ongoing need to modernise and improve the efficiency of the Judiciary, as much in the corridors as in the court rooms. We have restructured, and tweaked, and experimented. Although we are not yet able to claim a fully modern, fit-for-purpose judicial system, I believe that we are well on our way.
When you look at the statistics which form a large part of this report, it will become apparent that the backbone of then backlog has been broken, and we will continue to reduce it through the consistent hard work of the Judges and Magistrates and the Judiciary staff. This will in turn improve access to justice and its administration, and go towards rebuilding the reputation of the Judiciary in the eyes of the public.
In 2018/2019, we bid farewell to a number of colleagues and Judges and I want to thank them for their service. The Judiciary also welcomed new Judges and members onto the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Magistrates Courts and the Tribunals, and we trust that they will find their roles rewarding and fulfilling. The establishment of new staff committees has resulted in improved collegiality and teamwork. Skills development continues to be a priority for the Judiciary and we have ensured all judicial officers and staff have access to training opportunities. Stakeholder engagement and cooperation has also been positive. These are all achieved under the Vision 2020 strategic plan which we continue to implement.
One of the highlights of the period under review was the Judiciary’s successful hosting of the Southern Africa Chief Justices Forum. This Conference saw 90 Judges and Chief Justices from 13 countries participating in discussions on performing the judicial function “Without Fear of Favour”. Being the smallest jurisdiction in this Forum, arranging an international conference of this scale was no small task. However, the Judiciary staff, with the support of the Government of Seychelles, put on a first class event, both in terms of substance and logistics. The feedback from delegates was extremely positive, and I am thrilled that the Judiciary of Seychelles was able to create the platform for meaningful judicial interaction and engagement.
The 2018/2019 Report can only provide a snapshot of the work of the Judiciary, and it doesn’t reflect the hard work of the Judiciary staff and judicial officers who work tirelessly to ensure the courts run smoothly. We talk about reform in numbers: hard, cold, measurable goals underpin the statistics littered through this report. However, it is important to remember that any numerical success is built through the dedication and diligence of the individuals who work in the Judiciary. There is no person in the Judiciary whose daily efforts are unnecessary even though they often go unacknowledged. I want to extend my sincerest thanks to each and every person who makes up the Judiciary, we could not have made this progress without you.