10 new judges appointed

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The Judicial Service Commission has approved the appointment of 10 new Puisné judges – the single-largest batch of judges to be appointed in the country’s history.

They are: Ms Nicole Pierre, Mrs Joy Persaud-Singh, Ms Hesaun Yasin, Mrs Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, Mrs Deborah Kumar-Chetty, Mr Nigel Niles, Mr Peter Hugh, Mrs Priscilla Chandra-Hanif, Mrs Jacqueline Josiah-Graham and Mrs Zamina Ally-Seepaul.

They are expected to be sworn in by President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday. Puisné is a French word meaning “younger” or “inferior in rank.”  The Chief Justice serves as President of the High Court and she is supported by puisné judges.

The Supreme Court, in a statement, noted that 37 people applied for the post and 10 were appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, the body responsible for the appointment of judges.

The new judges will serve either in Essequibo, Demerara or Berbice and will serve in the civil and/or criminal jurisdictions as assigned.

Criminal jurisdiction refers to the authority of courts to hear and decide cases involving violations of criminal law and involve actions considered offenses against the state, society, or public order. Examples include murder, drug offenses and fraud.

Civil jurisdiction deals with disputes between individuals, organizations, or between the two, where the goal is to resolve non-criminal matters. Types of Cases include contract disputes, property disputes, family law matters (divorce, custody), personal injury claims, and defamation.

To be qualified for the post, those appointed would have had to meet the following qualifications:

  1. Be or have been a judge of a court of unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such a court
  2. Or be qualified for admission to practice as an attorney-at-law in the courts of Guyana or as an attorney-at-law in a court in any other part of the Commonwealth having unlimited jurisdiction either in civil or criminal causes or matters
  3. Or be qualified for not less than seven (7) years to practice in such court

In addition, the Judicial Service Commission looked at the applicants with a common law background and those with knowledge and experience in criminal practice and procedure and civil practice and procedure.

They also looked for those who possess a high level of personal integrity.

The new judges are expected to subscribe to the Supreme Court of Judicature of Guyana’s Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates.

A judge can serve until they attain the age of 65.

 

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