WINDHOEK – The office of the Judiciary needs an additional N$64.2 million for the implementation of new bills and clearing the backlog of cases in the courts.
This is an addition to the N$368 million which was allocated to it during the recently tabled budget for 2019/20 financial year.
Speaking to New Era, Judiciary spokesperson, Deputy Director Ockert Jansen said the current allocation is adequate but not entirely sufficient.
“We have requested an additional N$64.2 million per annum over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period which would have considered primary matters of the Magistracy and Lower courts,” explained Jansen.
In addition, Jansen explained that in the past five years, the budget has decreased and the amount allocated fall short. This he said was due to the economic situation that the country is currently facing.
The additional budget will take into consideration readiness for implementation of new bills during the MTEF period that would have a direct bearing on the courts, as well as ensuring that some backlogs could be serviced by employing additional staff and judicial officers.
“As mentioned, we are aware of what the ceiling is. However, we are confident that we might be considered for additional funding during the mid-year budget review. Should we receive such, we can focus on additional projects and programs, specifically addressing the backlog of cases,” noted Jansen.
Jansen emphasized that priority areas will be clearing the backlog and maintaining good clearance rates as agreed upon in the strategic plan, reform of court statistics, data collection and data analysis, filling of posts that are funded, case management system in the lower courts, structured institutionalized training for the appointment of judges and integrating law students as interns into the system.
“We are not going to fall short with the budget. We will ensure that justice is served. We are hoping to do more with less. We will reprioritize in order to execute our mandate effectively,” said Jansen.