“Whether we like it or not, their judgment becomes part of the law.”
If the Supreme Court makes an error in judgment, like it or not, that erroneous decision will eventually become law.
Indeed, all too often, trial judges cite historic SC decisions when rendering their verdicts while conducting business in their sala. At the same time, lawyers generally refer to past decisions of the SC to strengthen their arguments in order to influence the judge’s perception in favor of their clients.
But what if a trial judge makes a resolution inconsistent with and / or overturns an earlier Supreme Court decision that has been declared final and enforceable?
And if you think the final, binding end is the ultimate end of your legal struggles, you have another thought ahead.
An anonymous litigant experienced this kind of parody of justice when a judge, in resolving a motion challenging his predecessor’s issuance of a writ of execution of a SC decision, did the unexpected. Indeed, the judge, instead of complying with his ministerial duty to implement a final and enforceable decision of the Supreme Court, reversed the decision of the SC and denied the complainant his civil right, which the Superior Court considered that he rightly deserved.
The moral of the story is that a “final and binding” SC decision is still not cause for celebration, as you still need an order from a lower court to implement it.
Therefore, it sets a bad precedent that a final decision of the SC is neither final nor enforceable in the absolute sense of the terms and can always be overturned by a lower court.
It also creates other bad precedents such as an execution title issued under a final decision of the SC can be revoked without legal basis.
This particular litigant’s ordeal began shortly after he was stripped of his top-notch actions at some exclusive country clubs. With the help of his legal advice, he valiantly fought his battles for more than a decade from the Regional Court of First Instance to the Supreme Court where he obtained a favorable final and binding decision.
But standard procedure dictates that he had to return to the lower court for an enforceable title which, as one might expect, the other defendants objected to.
Much to the dismay and dismay of the litigants, the trial judge (he was in effect replacing the trial judge) directly violated his ministerial obligation to issue a writ of execution and, instead, quashed surprisingly the execution warrant of his predecessor, then issued a resolution that overturned the final and binding decision of the SC.
So, once again, the case went back to the High Tribunal, which was assigned to a division. Unfortunately, through a minute resolution, this judge upheld the erroneous lower court ruling to overturn the SC’s final decision.
Given this scenario, the SC which is supposed to be foolproof, might have inadvertently made an error. This error would end up becoming part of the law of the land because the decisions of the court are used as points of reference to decide or plead disputes, as the case may be.
Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied? You bet. This is why unbelievers of anything utopian claim that the wheels of justice are turning very slowly in this part of the globe.
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