Chief Justice Aden Hagi Ali
Chief Justice Aden Hagi Ali

People are now optimistic about the future of Judiciary Branch & its independence, According to Chief Justice of Somaliland.

By Mahmoud Qodah

Hargeisa (Somaliland Monitor) – Comparing with other journalists in the horn region states, Somaliland is the best place and a safe haven for journalist, and that even free and independent media doesn’t exist in some countries in the horn region, this is in the eyes of Chief Justice of Somaliland Republic Mr. Aden Hagi Ali who has been interviewed by the BBC during his visit to UK where he received an official invitation from International Organizations based in UK.

Somaliland Chief Justice ruled out the existence of any interferences made by the government in the judiciary branch, and noted, “Somaliland Constitution has guaranteed the government’s separation of power as well as the full independence of the Judiciary Branch from all other branches of government including the Executive”

Mr. Ali added, “It didn’t happen that a journalist is kept in custody because of an order given by a minister or any other government official. We are the ones who on daily basis defend the freedom of journalists, for that you can see or hear journalists telling that they get impartiality from justice department. The issue that I like to give more details is that like any other individual, a reporter can be captured, and arrested, but police have only 48 hours to justify the reason of the arrest, and after that period they should bring the suspect before the competent court, as the court has a right to ask for the reason of arrest of any suspect. Any one arrested for a suspect has similarly the right to have access to free and fair trial where he can defend himself from all accusations raised again him/her.

He emphasized that rights of reporters are defended in Somaliland much more than any other country in the horn region, as he claimed that Somaliland is the best place and a safe haven for a journalist when you compare it with its neighbouring, where you can’t see free and independent media at all.

Speaking about the main aim of his visit to UK, Somaliland Chief Justice highlighted that his current visit to UK is related how he would get more supports for his recent massive efforts in modernizing country’s judicial reforms in which he described to be a one which has become successful and one which lead for people to regain their lost faith on country’s justice system, as people are currently more optimistic about the future of Somaliland judiciary.

“During the past 5 years, there were talks related to ‘judicial reforms’ but 2 years ago, we actively started to go forward in order to implement substantial reforms in the country. We have managed to make changes from three dimensions; first and for most we highly needed improve providing better services to community by speeding up start the filed cases and complaints more quicker and faster; second we needed to advance the skills and the capacities of our service providers; and finally we wanted for the people who have complaints to have much more easier access to us which is one of the ways to make sure that justice is taking its course.

Speaking about the challenges that had faced when since he took office 2 years ago (2015), Mr. Ali described the land related disputes to be the toughest challenges he met, for that country’s land management is not under the control of government, as such that this lack of control has forced his management to choose “Arbitration’ approach of settling all disputes related to land property acquisitions in which he pointed out to be a successful one, as dozens of disagreements which were left unresolved more than decades have eventually been decided through this method.

Mohamoud Qodah is the Co-editor-in-chief of Somaliland Monitor. He also serves as the assistant editor of the Republican English weekly newspaper published by Jamhuuriya media Group.

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