Office of the Judiciary has slammed attacks” against the courts and judicial officers

The Office of the Judiciary has slammed attacks against the courts and judicial officers accusing them of being biased in favour of the governing party or being incapable of bringing to bear independent and impartial judgements on cases that come before the court.

The attacks allegedly emerged in the aftermath of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, as members of the judiciary were and are being targeted on both social media and in mainstream media.

A statement issued by the Deputy Director of Public Relations in the Office of the Judiciary, Ockert Jansen yesterday said this has serious consequences for Namibia's democracy, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

Jansen added that the attacks against the judiciary are particularly regrettable if done by those who occupy public office or by individuals who have the responsibility to be balanced and fair and to inform and educate the public.

As the Constitution demands, once appointed, judicial officers cast aside political affiliations and take the oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of Namibia and to do justice to all regardless of who they are and what they represent. It is disingenuous to suggest that persons should only become judges if they have no known political affiliations at the time they assumed judicial office, he explained.

Jansen further said the suggestion that the appointing of judges by the Head of State compromises their independence, has no basis either in reality or generally accepted international practice, adding that all judges in Namibia are appointed on merits, taking into account their qualifications and experience and on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.

Source: Namibia Press Agency