“Annus Horribilis”

No, its not what you might be thinking. The phrase means: “Horrible Year” and this was popularized in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II. During that year, two of her children ended their respective marriages and one of the queen’s palaces was almost completely burned. In one state dinner, the monarch said : “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis”. Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan after going through a rough year in 2004 said: “There’s no doubt that this has been a particularly difficult year, and I am relieved that this annus horribilis is coming to an end”. As we anticipate the coming of a new year we usually look back at events especially the bad ones, and hope that the coming year will be a better one. Some might of course consider 2017 as a bad year while others might look back and say “its not that bad”.

For lawyers, 2017 might be a significant year. The implementation of the rule on speedy trial in criminal cases started this year and adjustments had to be made since a new system is not easy to introduce in a complex system such as our legal system. This year, the Supreme Court’s veil of secrecy has been slightly lifted by the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice. Pandora’s box has been opened. Several sitting and retired justices testified against Justice Sereno while the latter’s allies cry foul and defended her integrity and character. To many who see the Supreme Court as the last bastion of democracy, this might not be a good year for the Highest Court. This test on the institution is expected to continue for the next year unluckily. This is not a prediction but the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice might just have revealed so much about the politics and conflicts inside the SC that the drama is not likely to end soon.

The allegations of extrajudicial killings committed by the state still lingers. Just a few days ago, police opened fire on a vehicle killing two of the passengers only to learn latter that it was the wrong one. Those two passengers could have been any of us.

There are numerous things that happen in 2017 but we could not go through all of them. Whether this year has been an “annus horribilis” or otherwise is dependent upon our perspective. It is safe to say however, that we are all hopping for a better 2018! GOD BLESS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!


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