The Chief Jus­tice of Bhutan re­tires

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Biku Gu­rung

Ly­onpo Sonam Tob­gay , the chief jus­tice of Bhutan re­tires at the age of 65 from the 15th of Novem­ber 2014 . The chief jus­tice has served the coun­try for 43 years and the youngest per­son to re­ceive red scarf from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo in 1974 at age of 25. ‘

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the royal court of jus­tice the re­tire­ment of the chief jus­tice was in ac­cor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion and the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Act, the Chief Jus­tice of Bhutan, Ly­onpo an­nounced his re­tire­ment and made a for­mal sub­mis­sion of his re­tire­ment to His Majesty a month ago.

The Chief jus­tice was borned Lopen Tashi and Aum Nimin Daza of Nangkor in Pema Gat­shel and he is an alumna of Dr. Gra­ham Homes in Kalimpong. He had as­sumed many of­fices and served un­der var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties in his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer span­ning 43 years in the ser­vice of the Royal Gov­ern­ment.

He started his ca­reers at a very early age. He served as (Zim­i­nangma) Master of the house­hold to His Majesty the Third King and (Soelpon) Cham­ber­lain to His Majesty the Fourth King. In 1991, he was awarded the Deputy Min­is­ter’s rank and scarf. From 1991 till 2009, He served as the Chief Jus­tice of High Court and be­came the first Chief Jus­tice of the Supreme Court on Fe­bru­ary 2010. His ten­ure as the Pres­i­dent of SAAR­CLAW from Jan­uary 2011 to May 2014 saw the re­vival of SAAR­CLAW as a pi­o­neer or­ga­ni­za­tion for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween le­gal lu­mi­nar­ies of SAARC re­gion.

Un­der the guid­ance of benev­o­lent Mon­archs, he brought about ma­jor re­forms in the Ju­di­ciary with in­tro­duc­tion of ICT, pro­ce­dural uni­for­mity, train­ings of pro­fes­sional judges, and en­hanc­ing ac­cess to jus­tice es­pe­cially the in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ments. The con­struc­tion of the Supreme Court was car­ried out un­der his per­sonal su­per­vi­sion.

He is also a strict dis­ci­plinar­ian and has con­trib­uted to im­bib­ing the tra­di­tional cul­ture, val­ues, eti­quette and dis­ci­pline in the courts and among the judges.

He was the Chair­man of the Con­sti­tu­tion Draft­ing Com­mit­tee. This sin­gu­lar hon­our to guide the Con­sti­tu­tion Draft­ing Com­mit­tee was be­stowed by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Draft­ing a con­sti­tu­tion re­quires pre­knowl­edge of the var­i­ous con­sti­tu­tions pre­vail­ing in the con­tem­po­rary world, deep knowl­edge of law, and a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of the his­tory and ethos of Bhutan. He is fond of read­ing and writ­ing, and has a wide col­lec­tion of books. He has keen in­ter­est in po­lit­i­cal philoso­phies, in par­tic­u­lar the Bud­dhist philoso­phies and has writ­ten pa­pers on the sub­ject.

He re­ceived many na­tional and in­ter­na­tional awards, medals and recog­ni­tion, some of which are “Or­der of the Druk Wangyel from His Majesty the Fifth Druk Gyalpo, “Medaille d’ Hon­neur” in recog­ni­tion of out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion for the cause of Jus­tice by the French Ju­di­ciary, In­ter­na­tional Ju­rist Award from the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Ju­rist and the Honorary Bencher of the In­ner Tem­ple, London. Photo: Ly­on­poUN was hon­ored with a De­gree of Doc­tor­ate of Law by the NAL­SAR Univer­sity of Law in In­dia.

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