Jagdeo nor any other interventions will not stymie the work of the judiciary – Minister Harmon

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, February 8, 2018

State Minister Joseph Harmon today during a post-Cabinet press conference said that President David Granger will be writing Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo informing him that another level of consultations will be held before the appointment of a substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice.

Hon. Joseph Harmon, Minister of State.

This follows Jagdeo’s no-show at a scheduled meeting on February 7, 2018, at State House relating to the appointment of the selected persons for the top judicial positions.

On January 3, 2018, at a meeting with the Head of State, the Opposition Leader was granted one month to conduct due diligence regarding the two nominees.

Minister Harmon made it clear that “the work of the judiciary will not be held in abeyance or will not be stymied by any interventions whatsoever”.

Further, he noted that the Opposition Leader’s rejection of the nominees is constitutional as is the powers of the President.

“There is a provision in the law which provides that in the event that there cannot be agreement because the requirement is for there to be agreement. Where agreement cannot be met, there is a second level which now requires meaningful consultations, so I believe that is the next step we will have to go to,” Minister Harmon said.

Justice Kenneth Benjamin is President Granger’s nominee for substantive Chancellor the Judiciary and the current acting Chancellor Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards for Chief Justice.

The 63-year-old Guyanese, Justice Benjamin is currently serving as Chief Justice of Belize, following his appointment to head Belize’s judiciary in 2011 and has been practising law for 39 years.

Justice Cummings-Edwards has in excess of 28 years of legal and judicial experience and service to Guyana. She began her legal career as a State Prosecutor and Legal Adviser in the chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and subsequently served in various positions.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

 

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