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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:L'indépendance du juge pénal au Burundi: les défis actuels
Author:Bernard, Ntahiraja
Periodical:KAS African Law Study Library (ISSN 2363-6262)
Geographic term:Burundi
External link:https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/index.php?doi=10.5771/2363-6262-2016-3-433
Abstract:Criminal judges lack independence in burundi. most of the challenges they face are of a statutory nature and are therefore common to all judges, regardless their subject matter jurisdiction. the legal framework as well as the political culture makes the judiciary dependent upon the executive branch of government, almost entirely. although the constitution provides for separation of powers and for independence of the judiciary, judges are appointed, promoted and removed largely according to the will of the executive. the judiciary also lacks budgetary autonomy. disciplinary sanctions against 'rebellious' judges are also common. to worsen the situation, the constitutional body vested with the mission to protect and promote the independence of the judiciary-the national council of the magistrature-is itself controlled and dominated by the executive. there are also specific challenges to criminal judges. they are related to the involvement of criminal justice in the implementation of the national security policy, the assignment of cases and the abuse of pretrial detention. discussing those issues, this lecture looks both at the legal obstacles to full and genuine independence of criminal judges as well as to the socio-political context in which criminal 'justice' is delivered. it concludes that addressing those challenges will require more than reviewing the law. the political culture will have to change, too.