Nandlall, Jonas & Jamela Ali conferred with ‘Silk’ after High Court ruling


President Dr Irfaan Ali officially elevated three legal luminaries to the status of Senior Counsel, effective from October 30, 2020 while acknowledging their “high standards of excellence and experience in the legal profession”.

The three Senior Counsel, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, Mr Timothy Jonas and Ms Jamela Ali took their oaths in the presence of the Head of State, Government officials and their family members at a ceremony held this afternoon at the Baridi Benab in State House.

“Today I am pleased, as President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to confer the title of Senior Counsel on three eminent members of the legal profession. Their records of excellence and sterling service exemplifies the high standards to which the legal profession aspires. The conferment of Senior Counsel on these three legal luminaries is meritorious and deserving.”

President Ali reminded the new Senior Counsel that their title has long been associated with standards of distinction.

“The conferment of ‘Silk’ is a mark of quality and thereby a means of enhancing public trust in our legal system. Such appointments will repose greater confidence in the efforts to ensure a more efficient and effective system.”

The Head of State noted too that public confidence in the administration of justice will only be enhanced by the presence of persons who embody the high standards and traditions of excellence and service, within the legal system.

Such standards, he stressed, are therefore reinforced by such appointments which are based on merit and which can inspire greater respect for and confidence in the legal system.

The President added that an effective and efficient legal system is essential to the social contract between citizens and society, who look to the legal system to secure peace, to deter violations of the law and to protect their individual rights.

He said that without such guarantees, society would be disorderly and unstable.

“It therefore remains an obligation of all – government, citizens and particularly members of the legal profession – to work to ensure an effective and efficient legal system, where justice must be affordable, accessible, swift and fair. These are the foundational principles which should and must guide justice administration in Guyana and which will enhance public confidence in our justice system.”

President Ali congratulated the newly sworn in Senior Counsel and wished them continued success in their careers as he presented them with their instruments of appointment.

On October 28, 2020 the Head of State had announced that the appointments of the Senior Counsel were based on “their demonstrable knowledge of and learning in the law and on account of their exemplary erudition and diligence in the practice of the law and by virtue of their distinguished contributions to the growth and development of Guyana’s jurisprudence and constitutional democracy.”

The honour of silk is conferred on distinguished lawyers. This status is recognised by the courts and gives recipients privilege and respect.

Since members wear silk gowns of a specific design, the Senior Counsel are usually referred to as having attained ‘silk.’