President Ramotar has increased the number of Puisne judges to 20, a statement from Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall said yesterday.
The decision was made after consulting the judiciary, and the order signed by the president was made under the High Court Act, Cap 3:02 and published in the Official Gazette on February 8 this year, the statement said.
Nandlall stated that the current complement of Puisne judges was wholly inadequate to cope with the volume of litigation engaging the justice system, and he made reference to Justice Desiree Bernard’s call in her farewell speech for an increase in the number of such judges. The AG expressed the hope that the appointments would assist in bringing a greater expeditiousness to the rate at which cases were heard and determined.
He went on to say: “We trust that those who are endowed with the high constitutional responsibility of recruiting candidates to fill the new vacancies, will discharge this responsibility with due care and circumspection in order to ensure that the new appointees are imbued with the requisite competence and integrity befitting the office to which they seek appointment. In this regard, we hope that quality will never be sacrificed for quantity.”
Nandlall described the increase in the complement of judges as another demonstration of the executive’s “commitment to adequately resourcing the judiciary and supporting its institutional strengthening in order to ensure that in the end, justice is delivered to our people efficiently, competently and with dispatch.”