Thirty seven civil society organizations in Gok State held a two day consultative meeting to discuss the impact of the judges strike on backlog cases in the area.
The judges and justices went on strike early this month demanding the removal of Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut, who they say has failed to resolve their grievances over allowances and better working conditions.
A representative of the Civil Society Organization Network in former Lakes State, Manyiel Gumkok said many police stations in the area are congested as a result of the strike.
“First of all there is an increased rate of crime because citizens whose fellow or loved ones have been arrested and no justice to report to, they are taking law into their own has because they know the judicial system is not working,” Gumkok said.
The spokesperson of the justices and judges committee says the general assembly of Justices and Judges met today [Friday] and resolved that they will remain on strike until the Chief Justice resigns or is removed from office.
Justice Khalid Mohamed says they met on Friday [today] to brief each other on the current situation.
“They decided that the strike is going on until the CJ; Chief Justice resigns or is removed. This is our position and there is no change in our position,” Justice Khalid said.
He said the removal of Chan Reech as Chief Justice is their current priority, after which they will agree to resolve other matters with the government.
Mr. Gumkok said civil society groups in Gok State are also calling on the Chief Justice to resign and urging the government to resolve the concerns of the judges. He said the continuous strike is creating a huge backlog of cases in Gok.
“How do you expect justice to prevail? Thousands of citizens whose cases could have been heard are still now locked up in the police custody and in prisons. Remember justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
Chief Justice Chan Reech was not immediately available for comment.
This month, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, said the President asked the judges to give him more time to resolve their grievances.
Mr Makuei said the President wanted to first receive the report of a committee investigating the grievances and take the best decision on the matter without pressure.