CCJ President urges President, Opposition Leader to resolve deadlock

first_imgChancellor/CJ appointments…says non-appointments a “serious concern”Justice Adrian Saunders, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), is calling on Guyana’s political leaders to urgently resolve their issues and appoint a substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary and a Chief Justice for Guyana’s courts. He has said this current impasse has implications for the proper running of the Guyana courts.Following a session of interaction with the private sector at the Pegasus Hotel on Thursday, Justice Saunders told reporters that the delay in making these substantive appointments of key judicial personnel is a matter of “serious concern”.“Guyana has not had a Chancellor for 13 years, since Chancellor [Desiree] Bernard demitted office to become a Judge of the CCJ. Since then, there have been persons acting in that position… We are outsiders to Guyana’s politicalOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeosystem, but we are entitled to express views we have that directly concern the administration of justice. But ultimately, it’s a matter for the Guyana political directorate, and I just wish that steps be taken to resolve those issues,” the newly appointed CCJ President asserted.President David Granger had nominated Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards for the substantive posts of Chancellor and Chief Justice respectively. However, following a meeting with Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo earlier this year, at which the nominations were discussed, and after the Opposition Leader had done his due diligence, the president’s nomineesCCJ President, Adrian Saunderswere rejected. There has since not been any consensus between the two political leaders on the matter.Article 127 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana states, “The Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall each be appointed by the President, acting after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition.”Being cognisant of current Constitutional requirements in making such appointments, Justice Saunders has posited that the Guyanese authorities may want to revisit the procedure that obtains.“That formula is likely to throw up this kind of situation, and so perhaps some attention should be given to perhaps whether that is an appropriate formula; or ifPresident David Grangerthe formula is to be kept, what other mechanisms should be put in place to break a deadlock. But for the country to not have a Chancellor — and it has implications for the Chief Justice as well, because it just cascades down for that length of time — it’s just not right,” he posited, while noting that it is not his place to say what measures should be put in place to break the deadlock.While the two Guyanese leaders are expected to continue discussions on the nominations, the local legal fraternity, including the Guyana Bar Association (GBA), has called for the substantive appointments of acting Chancellor Justice Cummings-Edwards and acting Chief Justice, Justice Roxane George.However, the Head of State has dismissed these calls, saying that he went through the Constitutional process and recommended a candidate.last_img read more