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Legal experts in Nepal object to changes in judicial system

Last Updated: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 17:56

Kathmandu: Legal experts in Nepal have objected to the proposals by the Constituent Assembly`s committee on Judicial System, saying if included in the Constitution, they will impair "judicial independence".
The Constitutional Committee recently submitted to the CA the draft of the concept paper on judiciary, which has been opposed by Nepali Congress and CPN-UML lawmakers.

As per the proposed provisions, the Parliament will be the final interpreter of the Constitution and the chief justice can be appointed from outside the judicial service.

Judges and constitutional experts have objected to such provisions saying, "There will be no judicial independence under the proposed mechanism."

Besides, the proposed provisions also authorise the Parliament to appoint judges, as against the existing provision that requires a constitutional council to recommend names for chief justice.

"Such a judicial system will not be able to protect the fundamental rights of the individual," said Supreme Court Justice Bala Ram Khatrichhetri.

Nepal is signatory to at least three international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which requires the country to maintain certain standards while framing judicial system, he said.

"The concept paper proposed by the Maoists to the Constituent Assembly does not guarantee independence, impartiality and competency of the judiciary," the judge pointed out.

However, CA members representing the Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhesi People`s Rights Forum had voted in favour of the provisions.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi has called for the drafting of a Constitution that would ensure a world class judiciary system, stressing on the need to evaluate the "role played by the judiciary in upholding fundamental rights, democracy and constitutionalism."

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 17:56

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