Books to guide judges pending law reports updates


11-January-2012

Prof Angelo  and Ms Majeed working towards the new books at the Supreme Court recently (Photo by G.T.)

Professor Angelo – who is from the Victoria University of Wellington – has been working with his assistant Mothla Majeed, to meticulously go though case files, extracting interesting judgments and indexing them for easier reference by judges, pending the publication of new issues of Seychelles law reports.

The last Seychelles law reports were produced in 1996 for the Supreme Court, 1988 for the Court of Appeal, while none have been produced yet for the Constitutional Court.

The president of the Court of Appeal Francis MacGregor is coordinating Prof Angelo’s work.
Law reports are series of books that contain judicial opinions from a selection of case laws decided by courts.

In common law countries, court opinions are legally binding and require courts to apply legal principles used earlier by a court of the same jurisdiction dealing with a similar set of facts, so the regular publication of such opinions is important to help lawyers, judges, and laymen find out what the law is, as declared by judges in former cases.

Professor Angelo told Nation he and Miss Majeed have been looking at judgments of the Constitutional Court, of appeals from lower courts, for example magistrates’ courts that were heard by the Supreme Court and the others that have been heard by the Court of Appeal.

“We are reviewing files with criminal and civil cases, checking where there are substantial points of law being discussed. If it is for the first time, we will record it in a future publication. If it is application of a known law then we wouldn’t record that,” he said.

“We are taking copies of judgments we think are most important for future use.
“Until the law report series catches up, we will produce little books which are abstracts of the cases so that practitioners and judges can look in the books’ indexes and go to the judgments and read for themselves.

“Since we do not have recent reports, you wouldn’t know what is happening unless you were the judge or lawyer in a case, and that’s why we are producing a form of guide for the judges and magistrates,” he said.

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