[EDITORIALS]Struggle serves no purposeThe decision by the Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly to include the heads of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court as witnesses at their hearings has sparked protests from the two judiciary institutions.
This issue should not develop into a fight between the legislative and judiciary branches. The National Assembly should not overstep its boundaries and give the impression that it is intruding on the judiciary system.
Under the present system, the chiefs of the agencies are supposed to answer questions under oath. However, it has been the practice to allow the chiefs of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court to leave after giving their introductions and for other administrative officials to answer the questions. The committee claimed that this has been done to establish the authority of the legislative branch.
It is indeed important for the National Assembly to establish its authority as the people's representative. However, it is doubtful this is the best way of doing it. Considering the vicious manner the National Assembly treats its witnesses, it would be needless to say the authority of the chiefs of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court would be compromised if the committee has its way. The principle of checks and balances among the government branches would be further damaged. This is also the opinion of the judiciary branches in many other countries.
The matter also raises the question as to whether it is indeed necessary for the chiefs of the Supreme Court or of the Constitutional Court to be witnesses for the board whose main function is to inspect budget matters and the operation of government organizations.
This year's inspection by the Assembly is expected to take on partisan shadings. Should the National Assembly truly want to establish its authority and receive the trust of the public it should not engage in fighting and factional contentions.
It is a crude proposal from the National Assembly to "torture" the chiefs of the judiciary institutions in order to establish its authority. Both sides will lose public confidence if they insist on this power struggle.