Caribbean trained attorneys are taking over the judiciary in the region

Dear Editor,

While the Guyana government is processing applications for the appointment of a Chancellor and Chief Justice, the Caribbean Court of Justice has commented on impartiality and the importance of judicial appointments, and stressed that there must be independence of the judiciary.

The comments came a day before the regional court announced the appointment of a Belizean to replace retiring Trinidadian Justice Rolston Nelson on the court. The new appointee is Denys Barrow, a West Indian trained attorney who will assume office on June 1.

It seems as if the Caribbean trained attorney is taking over the judiciary in the region. Three other CCJ judges were also trained in the Caribbean: Adrian Saunders of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Maureen Ragnauth-Lee of Port of Spain and Jamaican Winston Anderson. Anderson however was further trained in London where he was called to Lincoln’s Inn. In addition he gained his PhD in Philosophy. And speaking of Caribbean trained lawyers, the heads of the judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana as well as Belize-Guyanese Kenneth Benjamin were also graduates of the Council of Legal Education in the region.

Justice Nelson is the fourth CCJ judge to go into retirement. The others were the first President Michael La Bastide, a Trinidadian, and two Guyanese, Duke Pollard and Desiree Bernard. The present composition of the court is Sir Denis Byron of St Kitts/Nevis (President), Nelson (who is going into retirement on May 31), Saunders, Jacob Wit of the Netherlands, David Hayton of the UK, Anderson of Jamaica, and Ragnauth of Trinidad and Tobago. It is interesting to see who will be named to head the judiciary in Guyana and whether the President’s choice will get the nod from the Opposition Leader; if not he or she has to act until there is an agreement or the Constitution is amended to remove “agreement” and replace it with “in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition” as was the case before 2002. There must also be agreement for the confirmation of the Chief Justice as well. However Appellate Court and first instant judges are appointed by the Judicial Services Commission. Appellate Court Judge B S Roy is scheduled to go into retirement next month.

Yours faithfully,

Oscar Ramjeet


Lowe’s conclusion on case before CCJ was spurious

Dear Editor, In reaction to Mr Sherwood Lowe’s letter  captioned ‘Mendez has shifterd the CCJ gaze from Article 1 to Article 9 of the Constitution’ appearing in the Stabroek News of the 20th March, 2018, I would wish to submit that in my respectful recall the learned counsel for the Respondent in Richardson v Attorney General and Trotman asseverated that, in the absence of a credible definition of the terms “democratic” and “sovereignty” in Articles 1 and 9 of the Guyana Constitution, the court was required to construe these terms.

A stint in Parliament does not prepare anyone for proper management of a government ministry

Dear Editor, Our system of government is supposed to be the Westminster system, but it is not in use in Guyana today.

This society needs to embrace more liberated and progressive thinking

Dear Editor, Milton Bruce’s letter ‘The Editor-in-Chief makes all the decisions’ (SN, March 20) refers.

Realistic solutions not rhetoric are needed to bring relief to the sugar workers

Dear Editor, Regional Executive Officer of Region Six, Ms Kim Stephens, is reported in the March 19, 2018 Stabroek News, during her remarks at the ceremony to honour the Rose Hall Martyrs on March 13, 2018, “that that severed sugar workers are ‘timid and afraid’ of diversification”.

Government did not provide $68M in the national budget for the IDPAD conference

Dear Editor, It would be remiss of me not to address the Guyana Times article of March 9, 2018: ‘Govt yet to receive report on $68M IDPAD conference’, since it is either a malicious article or one in which the author is wallowing in ignorance.


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