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A President Fully Engaged

President’s attendance at Court Opening conveys message of national unity

The opening of the Supreme Court this year, held on Monday January 10th, was unique in its own way. The restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic obliged a low-ceremony, but in his address for the occasion Chief Justice Ronny Govinden noted what made it really different. It was the first time the President of the Republic had attended the ceremony. 

The first time attendance also goes for the First Lady, the Vice President and the Speaker of the National Assembly. It was also the first time the National Anthem had been played on the occasion.

These first time occurrences were noted with a sense of appreciation by Chief Justice Govinden. When he made the remark, court officials in the ceremony could be seen nodding in agreement, showing that he was not alone in appreciating the moment.

If it conveys anything, it is that the Executive, led by President Wavel Ramkalawan, is fully engaged at all levels of government, and that there is a sense of unity in the leadership of the nation. This is a message that our country needs at this point. 

The Court Opening this year has been held under the theme ‘The Judiciary, Embracing Change’. The message of national unity brought by the President is an element of the change that we should be ready to embrace. 

The ceremony for the occasion started with an Inter-faith service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and was followed by a special session of the Supreme Court, presided by the Chief Justice, during which he delivered his address for the occasion. 

The Chief Justice stressed heavily on the Court being a public institution, with hearings that can be attended by anyone. In this respect, he remarked on the role of the media as being the eyes and ears of the public. They are there to convey everything that happens for the benefit of the public, the Chief Justice said.

CJ Govinden addressed the role of the judiciary as reflected in the oath of office taken by the honourable judges, which includes being faithful to the Constitution, delivering on the rule of law and rendering justice without fear or favour.


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