Justice Chang to proceed on leave prior to retirement

– consultation on replacement set

Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang will be proceeding on annual leave next week for ten weeks at the end of time he will be ready to head off into retirement.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that Justice Chang’s leave will start on December 15 and his date of retirement is February 27.

Responding to a question on judicial appointments, Attorney General Basil Williams told reporters during a press conference yesterday that since Justice Chang will soon be proceeding on leave, the hunt is now one to find a judge to fill that position.

“We have to find someone, a judge to perform those functions of chief justice during that period and those consultations will start on Wednesday next at the Ministry of the Presidency,” he said adding that President David Granger has already written to the Leader of the Opposition inviting him to attend for meaningful consultations.

Williams declined to say who government has nominated for this post. “I can’t say because that is within the domain of the president,” he said.

In October, Williams had told reporters that the government has begun its search for a judge to replace Justice Chang to ensure there is a smooth transition. He said too that checks were being made to ascertain whether he had taken his annual vacation leave since assuming the position of head judge of the High Court almost 15 years ago.

Williams’s comments did not find favour with the Guyana Bar Association which cautioned that all pronouncements on leave for Justice Chang and matters relating to his office ought to be made by the Chancellor and not the Attorney-General.

The Association in a strongly worded statement said too that any deviation from this principle borders on the violation of the independence of the judiciary.