I would like to give a completely opposite take on the views presented by Abu Bakr in his letter, ‘A “landmark“ decision‘ in which he concludes that “the decision by Justice Ian Chang in the Henry Greene case is correct, of “landmark” quality, and “a major contribution to legal history in the Common-wealth.”
My instant response is that the Chief Justice (ag) Chang lost the perfect opportunity to stamp his foot down on waning morality and rein in the rampant disrespect for the law and the rule of law that is contributing to Guyana’s social and economic slide. For starters, Mr Bakr states that, ”it counts not at all what one were to think of Henry Greene and the propriety of his actions, since propriety was not the matter under consideration.” But I say the propriety of his actions is extremely important. The Commissioner is the main person tasked with ensuring that the laws of the land are adhered to. The propriety of his actions must be exemplary, otherwise what do we minions have to look up to?
Morality is the mother of the legal system. The ‘tenets of the law’ are a living, breathing entity that should reflect the aspirations of the people they embody or encompass.
The law is not merely about right and wrong. The law should, and sometimes could be used to make a statement, to embarrass some people into following the right path, doing the right thing and such like.
So, from my point of view the Chief Justice should have allowed the Commissioner to face the court process. The DDP got it right.
This is not to say that the Commissioner would have been convicted but court proceedings would have made a profound statement, and possibly represented a deterrent way beyond our wildest dreams.