Workshop on Principles of Judgment Writing Conducted for Lower Courts of South Sudan

Max Planck Foundation facilitates third workshop for the High Courts and County Courts of South Sudan

From 28 to 30 May 2019, the Max Planck Foundation, in conjunction with the Judiciary of South Sudan held its third workshop with judges of the High Courts and County Courts in Juba. The workshop focused on the topic ‘Principles and Methods of Judgment Writing’ and was designed to enable judges to improve their judgment-writing skills. The workshop saw the attendance of judges from all over South Sudan.

The workshop was formally inaugurated by the Chief Justice of South Sudan, HE Justice Chan Reec Madut, the Director of Learning and Training in the South Sudan Judiciary, Justice Benjamin Baak Deng and the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Stephen Simon Bengingwa who all noted the significance of the topic to the everyday works of the participating judges. Dr Kathrin Maria Scherr, Managing Director and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Projects at the Foundation, also warmly welcomed all participants to the workshop.

The programme included presentations and discussions that emphasised the nature of well drafted judgments, the structure of judgments, and the special requirements and challenges of judicial writing. In addition, the three-day workshop delved into the theoretical and practical approaches to statutory interpretation in addition to common law considerations in interpretation. The final day saw the Director of Learning and Training in the South Sudan Judiciary, Justice Benjamin Baak Deng, review the procedural law on judgment writing in South Sudan. In their closing remarks, the leadership of the Judiciary noted that this topic was of utmost importance to the work of the judges, especially since South Sudan has transitioned from the civil law system to the common law system, which relies heavily on judicial precedents.

The workshop, funded by the European Union, continues the implementation of the training component of the project Strengthening the Rule of Law in South Sudan.