Seychelles’ new Supreme Court judges and ombudsman sworn in
The new judges of the Supreme Court, Ronny Govinden and Laura Pillay with Seychelles' President Danny Faure. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Two new judges of the Supreme Court of Seychelles and the new Ombudsman were sworn in on Friday at the State House.
The new judges, Ronny Govinden and Laura Pillay, and the new Ombudsman, Nichole Tirant-Ghérardi, were nominated by the Seychelles’ President Danny Faure following recommendations made by the Constitutional Appointments Authority (CAA) and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Wavel Ramkalawan.
Speaking to the press after the ceremony, Justice Govinden said that he is looking forward to discharging his new responsibilities and vowing to put in the same level of commitment as he did when he was the Attorney General with the required impartiality and integrity the position necessitates.
|Justice Govinden said that he is looking forward to discharging his new responsibilities. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Govinden said that “today marks a historical occasion as two Seychellois judges are taking the place of two foreign judges.”
Justice Pillay -- the fourth female judge in the Seychelles' judiciary -- said that her 12 years of experience as a magistrate will be invaluable and that as a judge, she will have more time to concentrate on one specific case at a time compared to the multiple cases she was dealing with in the magistracy.
|Justice Pillay said that her 12 years of experience as a magistrate will be invaluable and that as a judge. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The Supreme Court of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, now has 10 judges
On her part, Tirant-Ghérardi explained that the role of an Ombudsman is very difficult, but she is honoured by her appointment. She said that her responsibility is like being a watchdog, looking over the rights of people, and ensuring those constitutional rights are not infringed by those meant to be working and taking care of its citizens.
"One of the big roles is also to watch over the laws that are passed in the name of citizens. It will be important for me to look at how those laws can affect the rights of the people, and if it does affect our rights, then it's the Ombudsman's responsibility to do something about it,” said Tirant-Ghérardi.
|Ombudsman Nichole Tirant-Ghérardi said that her responsibility is like being a watchdog, looking over the rights of people. (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
The new Ombudsman added that: "My priorities are primarily to look at some of the laws that have been passed. I've been unhappy with some of the laws that have gone through previous National Assemblies and even one in particular that has gone through this National Assembly.”
Tirant-Ghérardi said she intends to work closely with the civil society, primarily through the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), and the media to give more awareness of the role of the Ombudsman.
The Office of the Ombudsman will continue to be based at Aarti Chambers, in the central district of Mont Fleuri.