Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams SC yesterday said that there is no need for anyone to replace retired judge James Patterson, who had been previously appointed as one of his advisers, while noting that there are others who still serve in that capacity.
Justice Patterson has been controversially appointed unilaterally by President David Granger as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and as a result can no longer serve as an adviser to Williams.
Responding to questions from the media yesterday at his first press conference for the year, Williams clarified that the former judge does not have to be replaced as the ministry has other advisers. “Well, as far as I know, Cabinet appointed about five, six advisers and if one goes, I don’t know that that would prevent the rest from continuing,” Williams said.
He further stressed, “We don’t have to replace anybody, we have six persons.”
The Attorney General, however, said that if they wish to replace Patterson, they will so decide, before adding, “That was a Cabinet decision.”
The ministerial council of legal advisors is made up of former Caribbean Court of Justice Judge Duke Pollard; former Justice of Appeal Claudette Singh SC, who is currently the Guyana Police Force’s Legal Advisor as well as Professor Harold Lutchman, former professor of the University of Guyana (UG), and Rudolph James, who still serves as a professor at UG.