The move by the outgoing cabinet to nominate members to the Judicial Service Commission has been widely condemned with lawyers terming it a violation of the country’s constitution.
Civil society groups, politicians, lawyers and politicians have dismissed the move noting the current cabinet is acting on caretaker capacity thus it lacks the legal capacity to conduct such an exercise.
“This cabinet lost the confidence of the Lower House on July 25,” Somali Civil Society Association said. “ A sacked cabinet can not execute such a mandate until a substantive is appointed.”
The outgoing cabinet Thursday nominated five individuals to the Judicial Service Commission alongside eight others to the Somali Petroleum Authority.
Lawyer Dahir Arab who is the Secretary General of Somali Bar Association said the nominations were illegal and failed to meet the requirements of the law. According to Dahir, two of the members must come from the Somali Bar Association.
Crisis Group Horn of Africa analyst who is also a constitutional lawyer shared similar sentiments terming the move illegal. “The appointment of the Judicial Service Commission by a non permanent cabinet is illegal and violates article 97 (4) of the Provisional Constitution.
According to the article, the cabinet stands dissolved in the event a vacancy arises in the office of the prime minister including through removal by no confidence vote.
The nomination also breaches article 109 of the Provisional Constitution which specifies among others that one of the members of the JSC must be drawn from the Constitutional Court. Somalia is yet to establish the Court as contemplated by the constitution.
On Thursday, July 30, 2020, the Council of Ministers approved members to the Judicial Service Commission, the Somali Petroleum Authority, and the Somali Quality Assurance Board.
The Somali Quality Assurance Agency will be headed by Director General Hassan Hassan Barre.
The Council of Ministers recommended that the Judicial Service Commission should be included: –
1. Abdul Qadir Sheikh Ismail Aw-Hashi
2. Ali Mohamud Hassan Ali-Wajiis
3. Abdullahi Ali Osman Hiirey
4. Abdirahman Mohamed Ahmed Addani
5. Ifrah Mohamud Omar.
Similarly, the ousted government has appointed the Board of Directors of the Somali Petroleum Authority: –
1. Ibrahim Ali Hussein
2. Aisha Osman Ahmed
3. Ibrahim Ahmad Layte
4. Abdulkadir Adan Mohamud
5. Ibrahim Abdulkadir Mohamed
6. Ahmed Hashi Abdi
7. Abdihafiid Ali Dirir
8. Mahad Mohamed Sheikh Hassan