WhispersTrust justice [Archives:2005/865/Culture]

August 4 2005

By Fahmia Al-Fotih
Gamila was a beautiful girl who lived in one of Taiz governorate villages. 20 years she was about to get married and live happily, but unfortunately that did not happen. Gamila is now an elderly woman and her dreams of a happy life have ( gone with the wind), when her father died, leaving a large piece of land for her and her other five sisters. Someone took the land and deprived them of their legal rights. Unfortunately he was her uncle. He was supposed to take care of Gamila and her sisters, but he became the reason of the sufferings and the long -torture journey of Gamila in the courts. Her uncle, who was supposed to keep his promise for his late brother, controlled and possessed the piece of land of the orphans for him.

Though these long years passed, and in spite of her age, Gamila has amazingly been struggling in an attempt to take back the piece of land, that is now in the hands of her cousins. She didn't lose hope. So you can recognize her in the crowds in front of the court with a big bag that includes all the papers and sentences of her case.

Gamila is one of the many who could be seen daily in front of the courts carrying a number of sentences that could not find their way to implementation and they are just ink on papers.

No one can deny that the bribe is one of the well-known issues that cripple the judiciary system. Bribes particularly distort the reputation and image of judges and the judiciary system in general. But this does not mean that we can hardly find unbiased judges. So it becomes common that if you can pay much for the judge you can have the sentence for your favor. The victim is surly the poor citizen who has spent his/her life futilely moving from one court to another and have sentences that are never carried out. Their prolonged cases become a heritage that goes from generation to another.

Consequently, many people distrust the judiciary system and they doubt if they could get their rights through court system. Some tend to have their rights either by their hands or resort to tribal laws.

Lately, Dr. Adnan AL-Jeferi ,the minister of justice in a press conference revealed a number of amendments and new positive changes in the judiciary system such as; establishing an inspection committee, giving equal opportunities for women to work in judiciary system, putting a number of judges in retirement list, punishing some judges and prosecutors, activating the role of commercial courts, develop the juveniles' courts as well as founding of a strong administrative judiciary for receiving the complaints of the employees and protecting their rights in the institutions they work in.

In fact, what the minister is promising, gives a hope to many people who have been looking for justice for years and ages and it also gives hope to a citizen, like me, a comfort that one day I could resort to the judiciary system and take my rights.

The problem is in those who have lost trust in the judiciary system and lost trust in the bribed judges.

The minister assured that there are numerous obstacles that cripple the judiciary system, yet, he confirmed that the changes and the new amendments will take their place and ultimately justice will prevail.

The new judiciary movement in Yemen, along with all the changes and amendments it includes, which are really distinguished in the Arab world level, can they make the Yemeni citizens re-trust the judiciary system. Can these amendments end up all the long suffering, of the many who still roam in the halls and passages of the courts. We will wait and see!