Attorney General condemns attacks on Chief Justice

-following ruling in elections petition case

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, has condemned the political attacks levelled against Chief Justice (Ag.) Roxane George, following her recent ruling on the APNU+AFC’s elections petition.

Justice George on Monday dismissed the Coalition’s Petition no. 88, which challenged the constitutionality of Order 60, or the National Recount Order, used by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for the National Vote Recount of the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Anil Nandlall, SC.

The results of the recount confirmed that the PPP/C had won the elections, obtaining some 233,336 votes, while the APNU+AFC acquired 217,920 votes.

AG Nandlall said while the judiciary is not exempt from criticisms, no one has the right to bring the judicial administration into disrepute, especially when it delivers decisions that are not in favour with sections of the society.

“Our system is adversarial and therefore one litigant will lose and one will win. The loser has a right to appeal, which he must resort to the judiciary. He has no right to scandalise the judge or to ascribe a sinister motive to the judiciary,” the AG said. The AG made this statement on the side-lines of the commissioning of the new judicial officers’ quarters in New Amsterdam on Wednesday.

He said that the State will do all that is lawfully necessary to ensure the judiciary is free from nefarious interference, political attacks and scandal in the public domain.

“I am appalled by the barrage of verbal attacks recorded in the media, against the judiciary and particular, the Honourable Chief Justice, as a result of a recent decision. This type of scurrilous attack on the judiciary strikes at the heart of the administration of justice and must be condemned in the strongest possible fashion.

Chief Justice (Ag) Justice Roxane George

I make bold to remind the judiciary that the law in its majesty, has endowed an unparallel power in the judiciary to protect itself and its processes of such abuses. The judiciary must use those powers when the occasion presents itself,” he said.

The Attorney General said the judiciary, as a fundamental pillar of the Government, is the guardian of the Constitution as it interprets and applies the laws enacted by the Parliament.

“It is the judiciary to which we all must turn for the settlement of our disputes and the punishment of those found guilty of violating the laws of this land. Studies have shown that wherever there is a competent and impartial judiciary, there is social and economic prosperity.”

Against this backdrop, the AG said it is the obligation of the State to ensure the judiciary is properly resourced and independent.