Appointments (ag) of two women to highest judicial posts no surprise

Dear Editor,

The appointment of two women to act as Chancellor and Chief Justice in Guyana certainly did not come as a surprise to some in the legal fraternity. However, there was criticism from certain quarters which claimed that it is a petticoat judicial system and the two justices were handpicked by the government.

However from reports it seems as if these two women are very competent and fair and will carry out their duties in a diligent manner and will not be pressured into being a tool of the administration. I do not know them personally but I am aware the acting Chief Justice is the daughter of former Chancellor Kenneth George whom I knew very well, and whom I appeared before while he served as Chief Justice of Guyana.

No doubt acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards and acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire were inspired by Justice Desiree Bernard who had many ‘firsts’ in Guyana ‒ first woman to be appointed a judge, first female Chief Justice, first Chancellor and the first woman to be on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Perhaps I should state that the Chief Justice of Jamaica, Zaila McCalla is female and so is the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Janice George-Perreira of the tiny island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. A few Court of Appeal judges in the Bahamas are also women including Guyanese Maureen Crane-Scott, daughter of Victor Crane, former Chancellor of the Judiciary.

Incidentally all these distinguished female jurists were Caribbean trained, a product of the Caribbean legal education system which started in 1973.  As a matter fact Caribbean trained lawyers have completely taken over the legal fraternity.

Yours faithfully,

Oscar Ramjeet

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