Assembly approves judge Renaud as first Public Persons Declaration of Assets commissioner | 04 June 2020
Judge Bernardin Renaud yesterday received the unanimous approval of the National Assembly on his proposed appointment by President Danny Faure as the first Public Persons (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interests) commissioner.
This was through a motion tabled by the leader of government business Charles de Commarmond in accordance with Section 3(3) of the Public Persons (Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interest) Act 2016.
Presenting the motion, Mr de Commarmond said after the Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Business Interest Act 2016, was passed, the following year it was amended as it was difficult to find the right person to the level that the law had set. The amendment was to allow for its softening in particular in Section 3 which deals directly with the appointment of the commissioner.
He said Judge Renaud is among the longest serving Seychellois public servants.
He joined the public service in 1965 as a clerk. From 1979 to 1985 he served as labour commissioner.
In 1989 he was admitted in the Judiciary of Seychelles as a lawyer and notary and he played a key role in Seychelles’ transition from a one party to a multiparty state when he chaired the Constitutional Commission which laid the foundation for the Constitution of the Third Republic. He was the election director which led Seychelles through a referendum which approved the Constitution. He also led the country through presidential and parliamentary elections in 1993.
Judge Renaud was in charge and led the civil society as the chairman of Lungos (Liaison Unit of Non-Governmental Organisations of Seychelles) for 10 years, chaired the Council for the Disabled for more than 10 years and he has been a member of the National Council for Children (NCC) for three years. He was sworn in as Seychelles’ first ombudsman in November 1993.
He was the first Seychellois to be appointed judge of the Supreme Court in January 2004 and retired last year. He has observed elections in several countries as an international observer, as a Commonwealth observer, as an observer of the Francophone parliaments and as part of SADC (Southern African Development Community). He also took charge of a United Nations (UN) special mission to organise elections in Liberia. For more than six years, judge Renaud has been an examiner of the Bar Examination for admission of new lawyers in the judiciary system. He has been exposed with humanitarian laws, human rights laws and also the maritime law at the University of Pretoria. He has been trained as a mediator in a judiciary college in Nevada, USA, was twice appointed by the President (Danny Faure) to lead two investigations of enquiries in the death of Dylan Rose and Steve Khan.
In May 2007, judge Renaud was appointed a judge of the Appeal’s Court a position he held until his retirement in June 2019. Consequently he was appointed chairman of the Seychelles Human Rights Commission.
“He has a vast wealth of working experience and his knowledge, qualifications, experience and competence therefore qualify him and will allow him to discharge the responsibilities that President Faure has vested in him. Everybody knows judge Renaud very well and the National Assembly is confident he will do an excellent job,” said Mr de Commarmond.
For his part, the leader of the opposition Wavel Ramkalawan said the fact that both parties in the House have agreed not to call in judge Renaud to be questioned is because they have no doubt about his competence, loyalty, sense of justice and fairness.
“There is no doubt that judge Renaud is one of ours who has guided us, shown us the road to follow as a people. In all his court judgments as well as in the different positions he has occupied, judge Renaud has always stood on the side of justice. We have all the respect for him and we believe he still has a lot to offer,” Mr Ramkalawan stated.