New Senior Counsel calls for Judicial Service Commission to be constituted

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Newly appointed Senior Counsel, Stephen Fraser believes that the delivery of justice is compromised due to the lack of a Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

“So if I have one [wish] that is before I can no longer function as Lawyer, Senior Counsel or otherwise, that the Judicial Service Commission be constituted,” he noted in the presence of Attorney General Basil Williams, Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chief Justice (ag) Roxanne George and newly appointed President of the Bar Association, Teni Housty.

Fraser made the comments while delivering remarks at a special sitting of the Full court on Friday, moments after he was admitted to the Inner Bar.

The JSC is responsible for judicial appointments; it is the Commission’s job to advise the Head of State on the appointment of Judges with the exception of the Chancellor and Chief Justice.

The Commission has not been reconstituted since the life of the last body expired on September 30, 2017.

In January 2019, President David Granger told the media that the Commission will be constituted “shortly.”

The President said the same thing again when questioned by the media on May 23, 2019 at the sidelines of an event at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Commission, according to the law, is not to be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. It can also remove and discipline judges.

It is made up of the Chancellor, the Chief Justice and Chair of the Public Service Commission.

Following consultation with the Opposition, one member from among persons who hold or have held office as a judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters shall also be appointed to the Commission along with one or two persons who are not attorneys-at-law in active practice after the National Assembly has meaningfully consulted with bodies representing attorneys in Guyana.

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