CJ notes need for speedy end to police promotion case; decision likely by May 24
Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George, has set Monday, May 24, 2021, for a decision in the ongoing police promotion case against the Police Service Commission’s 2020 promotion of police officers.
During a hearing on Friday, set for clarifications and directions, Justice George said with the parties still unable to reach an amicable solution outside the ongoing judicial process, a speedy conclusion to the matter has now become necessary.
“Because of the nature of the case, there is a need to have speed to it. It has been ongoing for a little while,” she said.
In December 2020, Senior Superintendent of Police, Calvin Brutus, had moved to the High Court to block the promotions of senior officers as he complained that the PSC was acting unlawfully and irrationally. The Chief Justice, in her directives on Friday, said she will allow for the parties to exchange submissions rather than going the longer route of submitting same to the Court.
This exchange of submissions will happen on or before April 29,, 2021, with replies forthcoming by May 7, 2021. The Court will sit again at 10:00hrs on May 24 for clarifications and judgment.
As was instructed in earlier directives, Justice George said, in the meantime, the status quo of the Guyana Police Force should remain as it is until the matter is fully heard, ventilated and a ruling is handed down.
On the last two occasions, Attorney-General, Anil Nandlall, SC, had asked for an adjournment to allow him to explore the possibility of amicably resolving the matter between the PSC, the aggrieved and affected parties and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
That never materialised.
Brutus complained of being jilted and protested that the PSC is using a “trivial’ pending matter of “breach of discipline” to deny his promotion to Assistant Commissioner. The senior cop is of the view that this practice of not promoting persons, who have disciplinary matters against them, perpetuate a permanent injustice against him and others who are slated for promotions.
In his application to the High Court, Brutus asked for a declaration that it is unlawful for the PSC not to promote, or consider for promotion, ranks with pending disciplinary matters; a declaration that he is entitled to be promoted to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and an order cancelling the decision of the PSC denying his appointment to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Additionally, Brutus asked the court to cancel the decision of the PSC to promote Edmond Cooper, Philip Azore and Kurleigh Simon – Senior Superintendents of Police – to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police and to compel the PSC to reconsider its decision not to promote him to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Brutus contended that some of the ranks up for promotion also have disciplinary matters dated as far back as 2016. His matter dates back to 2019, but he claims no progress has been made on conducting and concluding an investigation.