Judiciary and judicial system of the country have been on the limelight these past few months. Our society is changing, and changing rapidly. We no longer are a safely cocooned little nation at peace with itself. We have thrown ourselves to the wide world. We have in our hands today powerful tools like social media. We are more vocal today than we could ever be in the past.

Societal change, otherwise called development, is complex. It demands of people and their government to keep up with the pace. As our society becomes more open and complex, our institutions and governance system should aspire to be more independent, fair and efficient.

In Paro yesterday, Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck reminded the participants of the three-day training on judicial integrity and ethics for drungkhag drangpons and registrars that if judiciary loses its credibility, it would be extremely difficult to restore it. Calling for change, HRH said that lack of trust and confidence between officials, diminishing respect and faith in colleagues and lack of accountability and transparency in the organisations, among others, are some of the biggest challenges confronting the institutions.

“Because judiciary’s purpose, principles and functions are the corner stone of the nation, judicial officials’ integrity and ethics are imperative,” HRH said.

At the heart of a healthy, happy and peaceful society lies good governance. That’s why we have good governance as one of the pillars of our development philosophy Gross National Happiness.

It isn’t a fair bet, however, that we could have good governance without fostering institutional credibility.  Rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy. That’s why judiciary, of all the institutions, has a special mandate to be fair, independent and incorruptible.

It is not very hard to understand what Dwight D Eisenhower meant when he said peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.

This is a call for us all to look deep inside ourselves and to commit towards working together with trust and respect for each other. It is a call for us to foster integrity because we are the guardians of our rights. Only then will there be good governance.

A runaway judiciary is the last thing we can have. The message is loud and clear.