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Letter: Was Judge Schuster even qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court?
Published on May 28, 2015 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

As much as we may like, this issue of appointing shady and questionable judges to the Supreme Court will not go away. This issue is with us to stay. Judge Schuster raises an interesting and critical dilemma for the legal profession, the Supreme Court, the Judicial Services Commission, the chief justice and the attorney general. More so, it impresses upon those elected to speak for us, to serve us, to tax us, to decide for us, to “lead” us, to speak up and address this most pressing issue. It seems that there are very few persons left in the TCI brave enough to touch the untouchable.

Do read this:

In Tonga, Judge Schuster sentenced two men to six lashes each in Tongan Supreme Court. The sentence imposed by a British judge working for the Tongan Supreme Court has been described as "inhumane" after two criminals were told they were to face to six lashes of the whip.

Justice Robert Shuster has caused debate and caused protest on the isle of Tonga. He sentenced the two men to 13 years jail and half a dozen lashes of the cat o' nine tails for escaping from prison and stealing while on the run.

Mark Ellis, the executive director of the International Bar Association, said: "There's just no question that if you look at this under the Convention against Torture that this type of corporal punishment would constitute cruel or inhumane punishment. Even though Tonga is not signed up to that convention there should be a universal understanding of international law that this is the case."

Flogging is a slave plantation relic of the past and a procedure which could only be known to a hardened racist whose hatred goes deeper that the Klu Klux Klan or that of Adolph Hitler. Flogging was a practice that was outdated and not used in Tonga for over 30 years in 1980s but Judge Schuster saw fit to bring this racist institution of corporal punishment back. The distinction between capital and corporal punishment then fades away.

The practice was so outmoded in Tonga that it was admitted that those inflicted with this kind or punishment suffered greatly, because the whip, which would be used against prisoners. Before being used it is soaked in water overnight. This is so evil, racist and barbaric. Imagine a procedure where metals, chips, whips, ropes are used in such manner that the victims’ skin is pulled out in bloody blobs. What kind of judge is this to order such a procedure?

How could this premier, government and parliament sit idly by and say nothing about this man and his evil procedure? The Office of the TCI’s Attorney General, the Office of the Governor, the head of the Human Rights Commission must account for this appointment and give reasons.

After reading the Article below, from the Tongan Media, we must ask ourselves the following three questions:

1. Was Shuster ever appointed in a proper manner in accordance with the rule of law in Tonga?

2. If he was not, then this gives credence to questioning why did the AG in Tonga resign? Was it a resignation of protest as regards the compromise of the rule of law itself relative to Shuster's appointment?

3. Then, how if the world knows what Shuster's history is, why didn't the JSC alert itself so that he was not even shortlisted, much less chosen and appointed. By what process, which is why s.19 (2) of the Constitution must be invoked to answer this last very, very, important question?

This situation demands local protest and worldwide attention.

On behalf of members of the legal profession protesting the appointment of Judge Schuster,

Ingrid Williams
Reads: 22166

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