Nominee for substantive post of Chancellor brings more than 39 years of experience

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, January 4, 2017

Justice Kenneth Benjamin, President David Granger’s nominee for the substantive post of Chancellor, is expected to bring his “profound knowledge of the laws of the Commonwealth States and Territories” to his new post.

Justice Kenneth Benjamin, nominee for the substantive post of Chancellor of the Judiciary.

The experienced Judicial Officer and Attorney-at-law has highly developed research skills and is a trained and accomplished Judicial Educator “with first-hand experience in the application of case management techniques and information technology to the art of judging” his curriculum vitiate states.

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

Justice Benjamin began practising private law in Guyana in October 1977 after obtaining his Certificate of Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School that same year.

He served an Associate Solicitor with Clarke and Martin Legal Practitioners until October 1980 before moving on to be a Private Legal Practitioner that same year and worked out of the First Federation Building until May 1988.

Justice Benjamin would then serve the government of Guyana as a Stipendiary Magistrate in the Georgetown Magistrate District from 181-1982. During this time, he appeared as Junior Counsel in arbitration proceedings between the Government of Guyana vs Pemar. He then served as an Assistant Judge Advocate with the Guyana Defence Force from 1986-1988.

He went on to provide his distinguished services to various Caribbean countries. Those include Antigua and Barbuda: Revising Officer (1991-1993); Magistrate (1988-1991) and Chief Magistrate (1991-1993). As a High Court Judge in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court from 1993-2007. Saint Lucia: Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, High Court (2007-2011) and Belize: Chief Justice, Supreme Court Belize (2011-current).

Justice Benjamin is also a member of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association, Patron Chief Justice of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and Member of the Council of Legal Education.

Acting Chief Justice, Yonette Cummings-Edwards.

The government had also advertised the post of Chancellor along with the substantive post of Chief Justice since coming into office. Acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards has been nominated to take that post.

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.

Justice Cummings-Edwards has served Guyana’s judiciary for 17 years and has been acting as Chief Justice for just over a year.

The acting Chief Justice obtained her Masters of Law Degree (LLM) on merit from the University of London and her Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School.

Justice Cummings-Edwards, who is an advocate for women and children, also serves as the President of the Guyana Association of Women Judges; Guyana’s representative and member of The Hague Network of Judges and an Executive Member of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Offices among other memberships.

Following the announcement of the nominees, President Granger has since met with the Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo pursuant to Article 127 (1) of the Constitution. Following the meeting on Wednesday, the President has granted the Opposition one month’s time to conduct their own due diligence regarding the two nominees.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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