Muslim Judicial Council Fails in Bin Laden’s Wake

May 10, 11 Muslim Judicial Council Fails in Bin Laden’s Wake

Posted by in News & Media, Politics

The death of Osama bin Laden has been welcomed by and large by the western world. It comes at the wake that the face of terrorism has been eliminated. I for one am glad that he is no longer around. I was disappointed that the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in South Africa did not welcome his death as a man who brought and continues to bring death, terrorism and destruction to the world at large through Al Qaeda. The MJC resorts to language of the United States of America actions as nothing more than “cowboys” acting lawlessly in terms of international judicial laws “designed to govern, protect and resolve global disputes and conflicts” . Let us be clear, the MJC objects to the manner in which Osama bin Laden was killed because they believe that the US needed to afford bin Laden the rights of a person who should have been tried by a court of law before sentence should have been passed, if he was found guilty. Really? Is this the basis of their argument which is in support of a terrorist? I am not sure what they were expecting, if Bin Laden was captured alive then in all probability he would have earned himself a one way ticket to Guantanamo Bay as I cannot imagine that he would have been sent to the US for a trial. Even if he was, that would have raised all sorts of questions as to how fair would this trial be. The logic of treating bin Laden as a criminal who deserves the benefit of having a trial is not very well thought out on the part of the MJC. Let us not forget that the War of Terror is not a war that could ever end; it is an ideal that requires each state to be on a continuous alert and, if need be, effectively eliminate those threats. If that elimination means placing them in a detention facility (with or without a trial) or execution...

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Judging By the People

We approach seventeen years of democracy in South Africa (SA) with the question of whether the selection of judges to the various courts (Constitutional and Supreme courts) should be inclusive of public opinion. Currently, the position stands where the president of SA can appoint or remove: the Chief Justice, judges of appeal, the judge president, the deputy judge president, and all judges of the Supreme Court who are fit and proper. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) presents its opinion to the state president for matters relating to the president and deputy president of the Supreme Court; and in matters of removing said judges, the matter must be raised in both Houses of Parliament. The JSC is responsible for drawing up a list of candidates for the state president to choose a judge from, it is understood that this body enjoys a degree of independence to elect candidates to the judiciary. However, its composition is anything but that; its members range from representatives of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, and the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The JSC as it stands is far from the independent structures it claims to hail from. SA prefers a system of representative democracy whereby the different political parties are elected to the legislature filling a number of seats that are proportionate to the results of the election, with the party trusted to place members to the legislature. The United States (US) uses a truer stand of democracy with most of its Parliamentary members elected directly by the People and its results determine the proportion of each party in Parliament. As such, the US uses a set of confirmation hearings to confirm the president’s choice to the judiciary. Indeed, this confirmation is done by Parliament and could be said to be very similar to that of SA’s JSC. However, the People can object to the appointment of the candidate. In the case of Sotomayor J, she was asked (publicly) in the confirmation hearings on...

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