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South Sudan Judiciary 'Almost Starting From Scratch'

  • Marvis Birungi

Chan Reec Madut, chief justice of the South Sudan Supreme Court, in his office in Juba.

Chan Reec Madut, chief justice of the South Sudan Supreme Court, in his office in Juba.

Last month the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, appointed a new Supreme Court chief justice. The person chosen for the important role of shaping the foundations of an independent and effective judiciary in south sudan is Chan Reec Madut.

He is best known to most as the former deputy chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, where he played a key and very public role in staging the vote that paved the way for South Sudan’s independence.

In the past the judiciary in South Sudan was often seen as corrupt and a tool of repression used by the government in Khartoum. In its current form it is underfunded, understaffed and generally viewed with skepticism by most south sudanese.

Madut says he is fully aware of what he is up against. “We have so many challenges because we are almost starting from scratch,” he tells VOA’s Marvis Birungi.

But he remains undaunted. A month into his new job as chief justice, Madut says he is hard at work carrying out his pledge to reform the judicial system into a branch of government that south sudanese can trust and be proud of. Please click on the link below to hear Marvis Birungi’s full interview with South Sudan’s chief justice of the Supreme Court, Chan Reec Madut.

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