Current Date: 2 Apr, 2023

The Seychelles Constitutional Court rejects a request for the judge's recusal

On Tuesday, the Seychelles Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman, and the Seychelles Bar Association filed a request for the Constitutional Court of Seychelles to recuse itself from the case. Still, a panel of three judges denied the request on that day.

The Seychelles Constitutional Court rejects a request for the judge's recusal

On September 13, 2022, the three organizations filed a joint petition with the Constitutional Court requesting a review of the constitutionality of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.


The National Assembly approved the 10th Amendment, giving the Seychelles Defence Forces the authority to enforce domestic laws in Seychelles. This was not regarding a declared public emergency and collaborating with the Seychelles Police Force.

Justices Mohan Burhan, Brassel Adeline, and Chief Justice Rony Govinden made up the panel that heard the case at the Constitutional Court. The three organizations officially requested that the judges recuse themselves from the case.

Evidence suggests that the legal system played a role in the creation of the 10th Amendment and that one of the Constitutional Court's judges recently benefited from a land transfer from the government.

According to the application, the government's action may have compromised the judges of the Constitutional Court's ability to impartially decide the constitutional dispute between the petitioners and the government and other respondents, on the one hand, and the petitioners, on the other.

The panel of judges concluded that all the current Judges and Judiciary Justices were asked to recuse themselves from this case, including the Chief Justice. 

This application for the recusal of every sitting judge and justice presents a procedural challenge because it interferes with the Constitution's provisions for appointing judges and magistrates in Articles 123 and 127."

It also stated that candidates recommended by the Constitutional Appointments Authority are used to select judges, masters, and justices of appeal by the President of Seychelles, the petition's respondent.

The board said that an ad hoc judge or ad hoc panel of judges will still need to be appointed by the president. It may be an ad hoc panel of the Constitutional Court, an ad hoc judge to hear the recusal motion, or an ad hoc panel of the Seychelles Court of Appeal.

The panel further stated that the petitioners claim that the president interfered with the judiciary and violated their independence. However, he would choose new justices and judges to determine whether he had interrupted.

The judges dismissed the motion because it appeared vexatious, frivolous, and abuse of the court's process. The petitioner, represented by Divinio Sabino, stated that he intended to appeal, and the Chief Justice instructed him to follow protocol and submit his application.

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

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