President dismisses GBA’s calls for current Chancellor, CJ confirmation

first_imgPresident David Granger last week dismissed calls made by the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) for the confirmation of acting Chancellor, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and acting Chief Justice Roxane George.Chief Justice (ag) Roxane GeorgeThe Head of State was at the time fielding questions from media operatives about the appointment of a Chancellor, saying he went through the constitutional process and recommended the appointment of Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chancellor but Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, whose approval is needed for a substantive appointment under Article 127 of the Constitution, has not agreed to the recommendation.“So that’s where we are but life goes on and I need to ensure that the Judiciary functions without interference. That’s all I can say at this stage, it is up to him. I’ve made my proposals, they’re still on the table. If he wants to review those proposals, it is up to him,” the President said.Acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-EdwardsHowever, when asked whether he had considered the Association’s calls for confirmation of current judicial heads, Granger said point-blank, “I don’t know which article of the Constitution tells me I should comply with that requirement. I’m quite clear what the Constitution says; I did what the Constitution requires.”Amidst the impasse between the President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo over the appointment of a Chancellor of the Judiciary, the local legal fraternity has been calling for the confirmation of the current two judicial heads.In fact, President of the Guyana Bar Association, Kamal Ramkarran, had told reporters last month that the legal fraternity as a whole is happy with and confident in the ability of the two distinguish women to head the Judiciary.“We are very confident in their abilities and they hard work… and we hope that the Government would recognise that the lawyers are happy with the persons we have acting and we’d like to see them confirmed,” he noted.The GBA President went on to say that not only are the two female justices doing a tremendous job with regards to reducing the backlog and making improvements in the Judiciary but are also thinking outside the box. He was referring to the hosting of the first ever Guyana Oil and Gas Law Conference which was organised by the Chancellor last month.During his welcoming remarks at the Conference, the GBA President had told the gathering of legal luminaries that the local judicial sector is on the right path under the leadership of the Justices Cummings-Edwards and George.“This is what happens when you have two dynamic women heading the Judiciary who care enough about filling the gaps in our collective knowledge by adding to their heavy work load of hearing cases all day as well as administering the legal systems and improving it by planning something of this magnitude and seeing it through to reality. I’m sure that you will all agree that this is exactly the sort of energy and capacity we want from the heads of our Judiciary,” he posited to loud applause from the gathering.Government has since come under fire for overlooking Justice Cummings-Edwards for the top judicial post and demoting her to the Chief Justice position. Justice Cummings-Edwards was appointed acting Chancellor and Justice George acting Chief Justice in March last year.last_img

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