Congo: Aimé Bininga, the man of justice reforms

Reappointed to the post of Minister of Justice in the new government of Prime Minister Collinet Makosso published by decree on May 15, Aimé Bininga intends to carry out a vast project of reforms of the judicial system and state bodies through the digitization of the justice, the reform of criminal and civil procedures, the meaning and effectiveness of penalties and the territorial organization of jurisdictions.

From the independence of the judiciary to the reform of the prosecutor’s office to the conditions of detention of prisoners, through juvenile justice and the improvement of the working conditions of magistrates, the projects awaiting the Minister of Justice Aimé Bininga are numerous. and the task turns out to be difficult for one who promised “justice closer to the citizens”. A postgraduate graduate in fundamental rights from the universities of Nantes and holder of a doctorate in law from the University Sheick Anta Diop of Dakar, teacher at the University of Brazzaville, Aimé Bininga is a senior official in the Congolese public administration who ala heavy task of pursuing reforms and innovations in the strategic justice sector within the Congolese executive.

Scanning several decades, the diagnoses reveal a judicial policy steeped in constraints and promises, even paradoxes. Congolese justice is struggling to win the confidence of the populations. The courts continue to be seized on an almost iterative basis, cases with proven political overtones; constraints coupled with identified and recognized organizational deficits (accessibility, communication, speed, etc.). However, the thesis subsuming justice under the simple statute of “secular arm” prolonging and accompanying the redeployment of authoritarianism seems somewhat expeditious. In recent years, the judicial arena has been one of the institutional spaces that have structured public debate. It is in this context that the Minister of Justice intends to initiate a vast project

In fact, in its reform plan, it plans to facilitate referral procedures to judicial bodies.For criminal cases, for example the Minister intends to innovate to allow the filing of complaints online and the establishment a “single digital file”: from the time of the complaint until the judgment, it will be open to all actors (police, lawyer, magistrate, litigant) with different access rights according to the stages of the procedure. In civil matters, it will above all be a matter of simplifying referral to the courts. The reform also plans to make it easier for citizens to request online criminal records and certificates of nationality. Simplified accessible procedures, the purpose of which is also to fight against all networks of fraudulent establishment of documents.

Thus the digitization of the judicial services connected to the centralized and decentralized services of the administration is at the heart of the major project of the reform of the judicial system and its branches, including the thorny question of the improvement of living conditions in the prisons to take into account the needs which express, among other things, the exemplary nature of the penal sanction and the planned social reintegration of certain delinquents.

The restoration of state authority, as the Prime Minister indicated in his first interview, is, according to Minister Bininga, one of the cornerstones of the reform projects. This involves restoring the rule of law, including in the judiciary, by applying the provisions already in force. Congo already has a legal framework which is sufficiently structured to ensure a good distribution of justice in the country. For the most part, judicial activities are framed by procedures which prescribe time limits. This involves, for example, ensuring that these deadlines are respected because any slippage is an infringement of the rights of litigants in matters of police custody or pre-trial detention. Because the regularity of judgments is a necessary condition for the well-being of the functioning of justice.

The uncompromising application of the disciplinary regime applicable to magistrates and other legal auxiliaries are all areas on which the Minister of Justice is committed to translating the President of the Republic’s project into reality.

According to the information in our possession, the Congolese Minister of Justice envisages a reform which will ultimately improve the quality of the services of the judicial administration, because the cleaning up of the environment of the judicial space constitutes, among other things, the one of the conditions sine that not for the improvement of the business climate with as main objective the repositioning of the Congo in the classification of Doing business. This would attract investors. Because for Minister Aimé Bininga, the business climate strongly depends on the relationship between justice and the business community. Justice should be a catalyst for good business relations by contributing to the objective application of the law. According to him, it is not a question of questioning the independence of judges. But to instill more rigor in the application of the law. The acceleration of the process which will lead to the valuation of the arbitration is undoubtedly a desired outcome as prescribed by the acts of the Ohada treaty on the law of harmonization of business. It goes without saying that the reform of the various codes which has been under way for years will contribute to making the legal system consistent with the requirements of society and the regional and international community. The process is sufficiently advanced, we are told on the side of the Congolese government’s reform man cabinet.

Another project that awaits the Minister of Justice, the fight against corruption and all that is circumscribed as anti-value, a crucial project closely scrutinized by transparency international.

Rethinking the roles and status of the judiciary would be linked, if we are to believe the transitological paradigm, with the third sequence of democratization, that of consolidation which is said to have the virtue of stabilizing the functioning of a young democracy. through new links between citizenship, institutions and accountability.

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