After two decades nine lawyers including three women have been elevated to senior counsel and it is the first time in the history of the country and the Caribbean that a sitting judge has been elevated to the Inner Bar.
As far as I am aware advocates should be offered silk and the elevation of Justice Roxane George- Wiltshire is certainly unprecedented. She is a brilliant and fair judge and highly respected, and if the government wanted to recognize her magnificent work they should offer her a high national honour such as the Order Roraima or Cacique Crown of Honour
Trinidad and Tobago tried to award silk to its Chief Justice Ivor Archie and a Court of Appeal Judge Kangaloo but had to pull it back following protests by lawyers. Historically outstanding lawyers were invited to apply to be members of the inner bar but that tradition has changed over the years. Moreover senior counsel or Queen’s Counsel were not allowed to appear before a Judge without junior counsel and it was not the practice for them to appear in the Magistrate’s Court.
The system has changed. The Desmond Hoyte administration appointed two Solicitors Sase Narain and Eric Clarke as Senior Counsel after the profession was fused in 1980 when solicitors became attorneys at law and Desiree Bernard, a solicitor who became attorney, was appointed a Judge -the first female judge in Guyana.
If the Guyana Government saw it fit to appoint a sitting judge senior counsel why were the acting Chancellor Carl Singh and acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards bypassed. The current attorney general, Basil Williams was elevated. Why was Anil Nandlall overlooked? There are a few outstanding lawyers who were not considered including Murseline Bacchus, Fitz Peters, Nigel Hughes and Stephen Fraser, but a 91 year old former solicitor, LLewelyn John is among the nine new silks.