Haiti: Bar Associations Call for Indictment of Chief Justice of Supreme Court
- Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:51 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - On Monday in Haiti, the Federation of Bar Associations (FBH) called for the impeachment of the President of the Supreme Court and Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ), Anel Alexis Joseph, for treason. The FBH also threatened an appeal to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the Haitian government.
All the presidents of the member bar associations of the federation signed on to a five-point resolution that will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies, with the third point requesting that the lower house indict CSPJ President Anel Alexis Joseph "for abuse" and follow up on impeachment.
The lawyers write in the resolution that by the July 24 violation of Article 13 of the Act establishing the CSPJ, Justice Alexis "unilaterally appointed three names and forwarded them too the President of the Republic for the formation of the Permanent Electoral Council (CEP)." Even after protests from members of the CSPJ and the recall of the representative of the FBH to the CSPJ, Nehemie Joseph, "chairman of the CSPJ has persisted and is enclosed in his original position."
The Federation of Bar Associations (FBH) went further and declared "lawyers in incompatibility or lending their services to the government or public entities that have or are displaying behavior contrary to the rules of the rule of law or the values of human rights will not be reinstated." The FBH made note that it reserved the right of appeal to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the Haitian government.
Towards President Michel Martelly
The FBH also resolved to appeal to President Michel Martelly to act in accordance with ARTICLE 136 of the Constitution of Haiti (not yet published in its entirety) to play his role as guarantor of the proper functioning of institutions and recognize that the "three names forwarded by the President of the CSPJ were chosen outside the law."
On July 24, the names of three persons sent by Chairman Anel Joseph Alexis were communicated by the National Palace as those that would represent the judiciary on the Permanent Electoral Council. It was later discovered that those three names were decided in a meeting that convened less than half of the nine-member CSPJ including the chairman.
The members of the CSPJ protested the "arbitrary" manner in which the three electoral council members were selected and speculation of the executive's influence began to grow.
The three members sent to the National Palace by Justice Alexis were all very close to the National Palace and Executive government. A subsequent motion by the National Palace, by decree, to elect a director general to the Permanent Electoral Council, which should be independent in deciding its director general by its members, which had not been yet chosen or sworn in, affirmed the speculations.
More Difficulties Going Forward
In the past week, one of the representative chosen by human rights organizations to sit on the Superior Council of the Judiciary and its only female member, Dilia Lemaire, resigned from the CSPJ saying "the CSPJ, with its current chair, is not the body that will make the judiciary fully independent as prescribed by the Constitution and for which the human rights sector has so worked for its establishment."
The spectacle of these events leading to today has brought many personalities from the legislature, religious institutions and private sectors to call for Justice Joseph to return his decision and for the government to no longer pursue the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council instead for a provisional one.
President Michel Martelly has sworn to establish a Permanent Electoral Council and members of the international community have insisted they would not finance elections without a Permanent Electoral Council.
Related 07.25.2012: Haiti: Judiciary Submits 3 Names for Permanent Electoral Council
Related 07.15.2012: Haiti: Judiciary Begins Process of Appointing Electoral Council Members
Source: Le Nouvelliste