Dabanga Sudan — The majority of the Sudanese says they distrust the judiciary in the country, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the Radio Dabanga Opinion Forum. Judges linked with the deposed regime of Omar Al Bashir must be removed as soon as possible. All existing laws should be revised.
A large majority of the respondents* say they do not trust the ability of the Sudanese judiciary to achieve justice for victims, in particular those affected by the policies of regime of deposed President Omar Al Bashir during the past three decades.
Only eight per cent stated they have confidence in the judicial system, while 83 per cent of the respondents said that they do not have faith that the judiciary is able to do justice.
The majority of the respondents, 82 per cent, also believe that the judiciary has not been purged from the judges affiliated with the ousted regime yet - which explains the lack of confidence expressed.
Regarding the separation of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers in Sudan at the moment, a majority (74 per cent) replied that a complete separation of powers does not exist in the transitional government in its current form, while one fifth (21 per cent) believe that the separation of powers is clear in the current situation.
The country is led by the Sovereign Council (currently consisting of five military and six civilian members) and a Council of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. A new parliament is still to be established.
In an open question about the best way to achieve justice and reform the judiciary, many of the respondents replied that new, professional and independent judges should be appointed, who are not affiliated to a particular regime or party, and are solely focused on achieving justice.
The authorities should exert more effort to remove the judges and other jurists who were appointed according to the empowerment* policies of Al Bashir regime.
Judges linked with the National Islamic Front, set up by the late Hasan El Turabi in 1976, and judges coming from the security apparatus, should be removed as soon as possible. They are the ones who destroyed confidence in the integrity of the judicial system in its current form, respondents said.
New judges should be appointed, including those of the Constitutional Court, by a newly established High Judicial Council.
Furthermore, all laws should be revised so that they will be compatible with the Constitutional Document of August 2019 that regulates the work of the transitional government.
A number of participants of the poll replied that new legislation must be made to be able to prosecute those accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide as these crimes are not available in the current Sudanese legislation.
People in all states of Sudan participated in the survey. The highest participation rate was witnessed in eastern Sudan's El Gedaref, followed by El Gezira, North and South Kordofan, and the five Darfur states.
The majority of the respondents, 59 per cent, are between 35 and 55 years of age, followed by people aged less than 35 years (34 per cent). The rest of the participants are older than 55 years.
* The samples presented here do not fully represent the opinion of the Sudanese people.
** Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its followers by granting them far-going privileges, including jobs in government functions and various companies set up by high-level affiliates.
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