Supremacy of law

Every now and then a reader will leave a comment that is completely unrelated to and has nothing to do with a topic being discussed. This is okay. After all, one should be allowed to raise important issues even though they are not being discussed here. So I try to acknowledge these out-of-the-blue comments.

Deo recently made one such comment. This is what deo wrote in CDG unconstitutional: “OL, since you seem to have an opinion on everything, and has become a self-appointed legal expert, what is your take on the Jemina case? In your opinion, who is correct – ACC or high court? Both cannot be right.”

I can’t say that I have an opinion on everything. But I do admit to having opinions on some things, including issues concerning the law though I’m no legal expert. And I hope that my opinions matter, even if you disagree with them. As far as your opinions are concerned – I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – I take them seriously. They matter.

Now about the Bjemina case: who’s correct, ACC or High Court? The High Court, without a doubt. After all, our courts are the supreme authority to interpret and apply the laws of our land. We may not agree with their interpretation, but we are bound to accept them. That is what the rule of law is about.

Article 21.1 of the Constitution: The Judiciary shall safeguard, uphold, and administer Justice fairly and independently without fear, favour, or undue delay in accordance with the Rule of Law to inspire trust and confidence and to enhance access to Justice.

So as long as the High Court is faithful to the Constitution – and as far as I know, we have no reason to doubt that – we must accept that they are correct. And that their interpretation of the law prevails over everybody else’s.

But what if our courts, guardians of the law, themselves choose to deliberately ignore the law? Or break the law? Article 32 of the Constitution outlines the procedure to impeach the Chief Justices and Drangpons of the Supreme Court and the High Court.

Back to the Bjemina case: I don’t know the details of the case, and I haven’t studied the relevant laws. So my trust and confidence in the Judiciary instinctively makes me believe that they are correct. But I suspect that Deo feels otherwise. It would be good to know why.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Dear OL – You were born to be a politician. What a smart answer. Really. Neither here nor there. But here and there nonetheless. Am impressed. I can understand your difficulties, and the reasons surrounding them, especially in answering such pointed questions. But I gotta give it to you man. You remind me of the famous Bill Clinton. And that’s saying a lot.

    • Bill Clinton is Bill Clinton. Let’s not belittle the man by tagging him ‘famous’ or ‘infamous’ for that matter.
      Let ‘pillows’ and ‘private stains’be damned! The man led through two terms of nice ‘American Debauchery’. Americans have been missing those years and are trying to hard to get there.
      I point this out because there’s a tone of self-righteous presumption evidently self-admiring in the note of DRoLo- something that affects the judgments of most Bhutanese when they comment in forums anonymously. I’m already half-expecting a full blown personal tirade against this post! I think the OL’s answer is as best as he could have put it.
      Dismiss, Disrespect, Belittle the laws of the land and what have we got?
      Rampant, naked, absolute, transparent violation and abundant corruption. If the legal guardians’ counsels are not binding, credible and fair enough; then that really is a pity- not to mention the reflection it will have on our society, culture and institutions.
      The need for CREDIBLE COURTS and JUSTICE cannot be underestimated. I believe we it involves us all and we are all involved in it whether we are optimists or pessimists.
      Opting/wanting to be positive sounds like the smarter option.

  2. Good choice of words, Ol, you really have a knack for political correctness. Are you saying that you have no time to study the relevant laws pertaining to the case and that the issue is not important to you? Like you, I trust that the legal process will take care of who is right and who is wrong, but isn’t it important for you as the leader of the opposition party to share your wisdom and guide public opinion?

  3. Son of Pelden Drukpa says

    Of course our Hon’ble OL definitely knows some glitches on the issue of Bjemina mines. But he will not want to discuss it here because he doesn’t want to hurt his God father and his relatives. And who is his God father? We all know that. The God father himself is like a god only who tirelessly served the country and people, but unfortunately he is dragged together along by the enormous greed and selfishness of some of his relatives and families members.

    • Now now! There’s no call for going so vocal. This is flogging a dead horse (pun purely accidental!).You name yourself ‘Son of Palden Drukpa’ (and i’ll believe it). If we focus on what has to be accomplished rather than poking dried turd wouldn’t that have a much better aroma?
      Let’s not sell ourselves, our expressions, our concerns on the cheap here. The fact that the OL has dared (intentional choice of word) to blog publicly; knowing full well the sometimes merciless mentality of the anonymous Bhutanese blogger is something to cheer about it. I laud the OL for this blog and wished more of our honorable members of parliament would do the same.
      But we’re only fully aware of the legendary Bhutanese balls: Swing When You’re Winning and Run When You’re Losing, unfortunately. Shall we instead go forward? That’s the only way anyway; might as well do it without the crap or the aroma. If you stay stuck in that mental-sphere you’re only gonna get that lingering scent…

  4. Your Excellency,

    Thank you for giving your opinion on this issue. By looking at the way you intelligently address this otherwise complicated issue for you, I see your presence in the political arena for years and years to come:))


  5. annonymous says

    i am aware my question is again out of topic. but i could not help it.

    what is your take on the quality of changlimithang stadium?

    the structures built in 1970s for the coronation of our beloved fourth druk gyalpo has lasted in good shape until it was dismantled to build a new one for the coronation of our fifth king.

    on the other hand, it’s barely been one year after the completion of the construction and there’s report of the structures giving way (falling apart).

    in my opinion, it’s a blatant disregard from the side of contractors for the posterity.

    if they just look at pocketing borrowed money and not be bothered about the quality of their work, how far can Bhutan go?

    already each person gets Nu.49,000 share in external loans and debts.

  6. sorry …another issue just out of the blue. i just read this on Kuensel
    “Whether a person gets one-month jail sentence or more and whether he pays bail or not, he’d still be a criminal”. It was last sentence and put into quotation marks under the article Tightening the screw
    OAG initiative to bar, bail notwithstanding, convicted civil servants from active duty. i feel very uncomfortable with statements being made like that. if it is a qoute and i would like to see the name of the person who said it or the source. and if Kuensel is saying that then i think valid reasons and proper explanation because as a reader … this implies that no restorative bhaviour will be allowed to people who go to jail or are imprisoned. And once convicted will be called a criminal throught out his/her lives.
    Is it really how we want our justice system to be?
    i agree that “Once convicted of a crime, a civil servant will automatically be terminated or compulsorily retired even if the court frees him on bail’ kuensel.
    But to prnounce a person criminal throughout would be harsh and if it is valid i would like see shy are decsions made that way? investigative reporting. Answering what, how, when. why and where?

  7. Reading the answer on the Jemina case I would now say that OL has made the right decision to join in politics. He has the qualities of a politician – playing the safe game. I also understand that everyone is related to everybody and there are no secrets in Bhutan. But whatever said and done, the sun looks at us from above and so does “Choki Gyalpo” on his mirror.

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