Indignant and “unemployed” since the paralysis of the courthouse due to insecurity, these dozens of lawyers, dressed in their gowns and accompanied by signs, are putting pressure on the government to relocate the courthouse from Port -to the Prince. “Justice sacrificed, litigants despised, lawyers revolted”, can we read on a sign. “The dysfunction of justice is to the advantage of corrupt leaders. We will not trade our togas for anything in the world”, these are among other messages sent by lawyers to the authorities of power.
“A country without justice is a ruined country. Justice uplifts a nation. If those who are responsible for raising it do not do so, the country will sink, ”said a lawyer, who said he was waiting for an obvious response to the relocation request. “Always promises. We ask the authorities to take their responsibilities because we have had enough,” he said.
“The security environment is deteriorating at the Bicentenary. It has been four years since lawyers have been unemployed. The State has the means to relocate the courthouse because there are available buildings. This situation suits them, so the authorities concerned refuse to do so, ”said another lawyer.
“The Primature has police officers who ensure their security. We lawyers are on our own. Justice does not rhyme with insecurity,” lamented the lawyer, saying he was waiting for concrete actions to ensure respect for individual freedom.
The President of the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince, Me Marie Suzy Legros, demands the right to work for lawyers, magistrates, bailiffs and clerks, the right of access to justice for the population. The chairman said to grant the government 15 days to relocate the court. After this time, the lawyers will be forced to move on to another phase.
“Governments have succeeded, gangs have multiplied, insecurity has reached its climax, the hearing of witnesses and detainees has become impossible at the courthouse”, described the president, denouncing, moreover, that the floor near the Court of First Instance and the bar are abandoned and delivered to the butcher’s shop on Boulevard Harry Truman. According to the lawyer, counting the victims in the vicinity of the bicentenary is proving difficult.
The president of the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince, Me Marie Suzy Legros, took the opportunity to paint the picture of the situation at the Bicentennial. “No court hearing for more than three years. The lawyers are unemployed. There is a serious failure by the government in its duty to guarantee the proper functioning of the institutions. Refusal of the authorities to put in place conditions for access to justice. Violation of the right to justice,” noted the lawyer.
It should be noted that the CSPJ had sent a letter to the dean of the court of first instance (TPI) of Port-au-Prince, Me Bernard Sainvil, to inform him of the decision that was taken to transfer the deanship of the court of first instance Proceedings to the Southern Section Peace Court to evacuate urgent cases and habeas corpus actions.