Seychelles

Judge Mathilda Twomey of Seychelles to step down as Chief Justice

Unlike many presidents who seek extensions of a constitutionally-mandated limited term of office, the chief justice of Seychelles, Mathilda Twomey, has honoured her commitment to just one five-year term and will step down later this year. Speaking at the opening of the supreme court’s 2020 legal year, the chief justice spoke passionately about judicial independence and the courage required to exercise true independence.

The five-year term of Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey has been tumultuous. As well as the many changes she was determined to make in the way the justice system operated in Seychelles, she had extremely difficult personal challenges to overcome on the Bench.

Seychelles appoints leading Ugandan judge to its apex court

The Court of Appeal in Seychelles, that country’s highest judicial forum, has been joined by one of the continent’s leading judges who is also a prominent academic writer on the issues of gender-based violence. Judge Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza of Uganda’s apex court, was sworn in at State House this week, where she will sit with three other members of that bench, along with the court’s president. Her appointment will give the highest court of Seychelles additional depth on issues of rape and femicide, subjects on which she is an acknowledged expert.

As Africa and many other parts of the world threaten to explode with anger over the rape of children and women, femicide and other forms of gender-based violence, the highest court of Seychelles has scored an important addition to its ranks. This judge brings a particular knowledge of and sensitivity to the growing problem of violence against women from her academic work as well as her experience on the highest court of her home country.

Contempt confirmed against former top Seychelles judge

Controversial former top Seychelles judge, Durai Karunakaran, has done it again. The disgraced jurist, embroiled in yet another legal dispute relating to his behaviour, has lost his appeal against a contempt of court finding. The contempt relates to a highly offensive insult he whispered into the ear of the public prosecutor during proceedings related to another matter involving the former judge. Karunakaran quit the bench earlier this year to avoid being impeached over misbehaviour, but judgments in pending cases involving him had not yet all been finalised.

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At first it seemed impossible: how could disgraced former senior Seychelles judge, Durai Karunakaran, have become involved in yet another court dispute? The last time I wrote about him, in August, I predicted that the decision handed down days before was likely to be the last in a very long series of cases under his name. But I was wrong.

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