‘Should I have been elevated to Senior Counsel?’

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the numerous enquiries made by friends and colleagues of mine who have been enquiring of me as to the reason why I was not appointed a Senior Counsel. I wish I could have responded to their concerns, but all I can do is put the facts of my professional practice to them through this medium and let them be the judge as to whether or not I ought to have been so elevated.

I have been in active and continuous practice at the Bar for over 37 years. During the first seven years of my practice I practised exclusively at the Criminal Bar in both the Magistrates’ Courts and the Criminal Assizes. During that period I did trials in excess of 32 serious criminal (indictable) matters. However, at this point in time, I only have records for 22 of those cases. Of those 22 cases, 1 was for simple larceny, 1 for rape and 20 were for murder. In each of those cases the accused was freed for the offence charged.

I also did trials in at least 15 cases of causing death by dangerous driving. In all those cases the defendants were freed after their trials.

From about the year 1986 to the present time I concentrated my practice exclusively in the civil law jurisdiction in the High Court. I have established a very wide civil and commercial practice, and, in so doing, several written and oral presentations were made.

For 35 years I had been the retained lawyer for the Georgetown City Council and I am currently the retained lawyer for the Central Housing and Planning Authority for over 17 years.

I also served as a Magistrate in 1982. My work as a Magistrate was highly commended by the then Chancellor Mr Victor E Crane, the then Chief Justice Mr Kenneth George as well as the then Guyana Bar Association. This is what Chancellor Crane had to say of me as a Magistrate: “…it was a pleasure to have you adorn to Bench”. Said Chief Justice George: “Robert Ramcharran from all reports is possessed of the qualities which make for a worthy member of our profession. He has a great future”. The Bar Association which then comprised men of the ilk of Messrs Ashton Chase, SC, Robin Stoby, SC, and the late David de Caires and Ayube Mc Doom had this to say of my stint as a Magistrate:  “Mr Robert Ramcharran off the Bench. We regret he could not continue. He did extremely well”.

My professional expertise and professional integrity have never been called into question by any member of the judiciary or by my colleagues. I am currently a member of the Legal Practicioners’ Committee. I was recently appointed by the President of Guyana, after being recommended by the Judicial Service Commission, to sit on a tribunal to inquire into a complaint and to report and advise the President on whether a certain public official should be removed from a constitutional office.

These are the facts. You be the judge as to whether you think I ought to have been elevated to the status of Senior Counsel or not.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Ramcharran

Attorney-at-law

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