It is common knowledge now that former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has taken great umbrage at the government seeking to “extend advertisements overseas, for the posts of Chancellor and Chief Justice.” Mr Nandlall came to the fore with his attack, after Minister of State Joseph Harmon, announced that “Government will be proceeding with its plan for these posts”; consequently he has raised a number of questions on the matter. However, it appears as though Mr Nandlall is merely imagining or conjuring up factors that do not reside in what government is thinking.
Mr Nandlall recalls an incident which occurred in early post-Independent Guyana, when the then government “created the office of the Chancellor of the Judiciary, over and above the office of the Chief Justice, as Head of the Judiciary.” This he interprets “was done not only to circumvent but to also humiliate the then sitting Chief Justice, who later resigned and migrated permanently from Guyana.
Government and the public at large want to know where is the logic in this kind of thinking. It should be remembered that pre-1992 People’s National Congress (PNC) administrations were presented as most dictatorial and tyrannical by the likes of Mr Nandlall. It means that the then government could have replaced any chief justice as head of the judiciary, instead of appointing a Chancellor of the Judiciary, “over and above the office of the Chief Justice.”
Can one say that he is now debunking his previous position that the pre-1992 governments were not the ‘slaughterers of democracy’ as he and his associates constantly claimed when they were in government.
Secondly, the natural question is why Mr Nandlall should even think that government has ulterior motives and a hidden agenda to control, undermine or emasculate the judiciary; also, how is it that “outside bearers of these offices” will be part of this supposed plan of government?
Naturally, one has to contend that a wave of emotionalism is foundational to this kind of spurious analysis. One has to posit some questions here, and hopefully elicit from Mr Nandlall, explanations for his paradoxical contentions. Do the advertised posts mean that government is making itself more transparent and removed from the judiciary, or is this modus operandi clearly saying that it is making itself subject to the judiciary and restoring it to its place of independence bereft of any form of politicisation?
I do hope for some kind of clarification.