South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Friday issued a presidential decree removing the deputy chief justice of the supreme court. The decree was read on South Sudan Radio.
Deputy Chief Justice Madol Arol will be replaced by John Gatwich Lul, chairperson of the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission, according to another decree.
The decrees are effective as of 4 March 2016.
The move comes in the midst of a case in which the National Alliance has asked the chief justice to recuse himself. The case was brought against the Establishment Order, a decree issued by President Salva Kiir in October last year to increase the number of states from ten to 28.
South Sudan’s 2011 constitution gives President Kiir the power to remove justices in some circumstances.
“Justices and Judges may be removed by an order of the President for gross misconduct, incompetence and incapacity and upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Service Commission,” reads article 135 (2) of the constitution.
The constitution also says that the president shall appoint supreme court justices “upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission,” and his appointment shall be subject to approval by a two-third majority of all members of the National Legislative Assembly.