Senegal-Justice-Independence

Senegal magistrates urge autonomy for public prosecutors’ office

APA-Dakar (Senegal) By Ibrahima Dione

The President of the Union of Magistrates of Senegal (UMS), Souleymane Téliko, told APA’s Grand Oral that his wish to see the prosecutors benefit from more independence in order to intervene quickly in the resolution of disputes.

“In some cases, the attitude of the political authorities may explain the delay in processing. It is important to ensure that the public prosecutors’ offices are efficient and that they are outside the control of the executive. Justice must be independent, especially from the political power,” Téliko said.

 

According to him, “if a case concerns the political authorities, they can give injunctions to the prosecutor”.

He said the file may never be enrolled or may be enrolled late, justifying why the public prosecutor’s office must have complete autonomy.

 

However, according to Téliko, this does not necessarily mean that it is necessary to cut “the umbilical cord that links the prosecutor’s office to the Ministry of Justice” because there is a criminal policy exercised by the guardianship.

 

This policy of the Keeper of the Seals “must be translated into practice by recommendations, general circulars and not by orders relating to a particular case,” he said.

 Souleymane Téliko does not find it “normal to confer powers on a political authority in the handling of individual cases, whether or not they are reported, because it is a matter of citizens’ freedom. All matters relating to rights and freedoms must be exercised by a person independent of political power".

 Mr. Téliko wondered whether it was “normal that the political power should have the possibility to influence the handling of a case in which the person being prosecuted is a political opponent.”

 Such a practice, he noted, would be “dangerous for the litigant and for the credibility of justice. Whatever the case, whether reported or not, the prosecutor must remain free to decide how it should be handled.

 The President of the UMS stated that “there are three factors explaining the slowness of a judicial procedure, namely the complexity of the case, the behaviour of the parties and that of the competent authorities, i.e. judges and prosecutors.”

He said “the used procedure or the shortcomings noted in it” may be the cause of delays in the functioning of the judicial system”.

 


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