The Reopening of the Supreme Court 2023 was an auspicious event marked by notable traditions such as the procession of Judges, Magistrates, and court staff through Independence Avenue and the inspection of the Guard of Honour by the Chief Justice outside the Palais de Justice building.
These ceremonious aspects of the event were put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic and were not possible in 2022 due to bad weather conditions.
Thankfully the sun was shining on the morning of Tuesday 10 January 2023, and events kicked off with a church service at St. Paul’s cathedral, with prayers of various faiths made in line with the theme the Judiciary has chosen for the year – “Justice First”.
The President of the Republic, Wavel Ramkalwan, the First Lady, Vice President Ahmed Afif, and Speaker of the National Assembly were some of the most notable high level guests invited for this occasion. Numerous partners from the Attorney General’s office, Ombudsman, Constitutional Appointments Authority, Police, and Prisons Department representatives were also present.
A special collect was also taken to donate to the Cancer Concern Association, the chosen cause for the year.
This followed with the procession and motorcade, inspection of Guard of Honor, and the much anticipated speech by the Chief Justice for the Reopening of the Supreme Court delivered in Court 1.
The annual speech gives the Chief Justice the opportunity to set the tone for the year ahead, share the successes and challenges of the past year, and make comments on the general perception of the justice system in Seychelles and its realities.
To read the English version of Chief Justice Rony Govinden’s speech for the Reopening of the Supreme Court, click here.
The ceremony ended with the cutting of the cake by the Chief Justice Rony Govinden and President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Anthony Fernando. They also took a souvenir photo with the President, First Lady, Vice President, and Speaker of the National Assembly.
In addition, the Chief Justice also met with the winner of the Judiciary’s art competition.
For the reopening ceremony, the Judiciary’s Public Relations department hosted an art competition in December 2022 for students from the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD). They were asked to interpret our theme, “Justice First” in their own artistic way.
The winner’s art was featured on the cover of our booklet; the talented Angela Marzocchi, age 17 years, was selected. Her painting includes symbols of Seychelles and the justice system, such as the Book of Law, the Judge, the clock tower, the flag, and the people. Describing her artwork, she says, “Seychellois are a young and proud nation. We have equality in our diversity, and all are given opportunities for success, freedom, and the same rights under the law.”
She is pictured below with her parents posing for a souvenir photo with the Chief Justice.
All the artworks from SIAD students who participated in the competition are displayed in the Palais de Justice lobby for the public to view and enjoy.