Even though there are only a handful of Judges within the Judiciary and even though the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has made recommendations to President David Granger for the appointment of several judges to the High Court and the Court of Appeal several months ago, to date no such appointments have been made.
Realizing the negative impact this would have with the expediency of trials and deliverance of justice within the legal system, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said that it is calling on the President Granger “to swiftly act upon the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission as he is obliged to do under the Constitution of Guyana.”
At a press briefing held today at the party’s Freedom House it was surmised that the reason why no appointments were made, after the JSC had nominated persons to mitigate the Judge shortages, was because “the nominees of the JSC do not meet the approval of the Executive.”
The PPP said that this was quite unfortunate, more so, taking into consideration that “the retirement of Chief Justice Ian Chang SC, has created quite a void in the judicial system. He was replaced by the Honourable Justice of Appeal, Mrs Yonette Cummings-Edwards, thereby leaving the Court of Appeal, a 3 members Court, with only 2 judges. Every time the Court of Appeal sits, a Judge from the High Court is required to leave all of his/her cases in the High Court to go to the Court of Appeal. The consequences are chaotic in the High Court.”
According to the PPP under President Ramotar’s administration “the complement of the judges of the High Court was increased from twelve to twenty, specifically, to avoid these types of problems.”
“We also feel compelled to point out that the work of the crucial Constitutional and Administrative Law Court is severely affected by this situation. This is a specialized Court which was established to exclusively hear and determine, with dispatch, allegations of the citizens’ of constitutional violations and abuse of power by the executive branch and by public officers” said the Opposition party.