Press Statement, Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs

Saturday October 20, 2018

Attorney General Chambers and

Ministry of Legal Affairs

95 Carmichael Street

North Cummingsburg

Georgetown

Tel. No. (592)225-3607

PRESS STATEMENT

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Mr. Basil Williams SC, is affronted by the reckless and churlish attack on the Judiciary by Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall who lost his appeal against the appointment of Justice rtd, James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission by President David Granger.

While this latest attack is not surprising given his penchant to making threats against media houses and other indiscretions, his crude assault on members of the judiciary-three of whom are women must be roundly condemned.

In an invited comment following the dismissal of his challenge in the Appeal Court M.r Nandlall is quoted in the media as saying: “First of all let me say that I am not surprised, I am disappointed but not surprised. This is yet another case that shows how far more our judiciary has to mature because it is a part of a trend. All the cases that are deeply political are decided in a political way and that has to change.” He then followed up with a letter to the press further castigating the judges.

These statements, when taken with his labelling of the learned Chief Justice, Roxanne George-Wiltshire’s ruling as being adventurous in the Court of Appeal and describing two Barbadian Queen’s Counsel more senior to him as aliens aptly sum up this ex-attorney general’s disrespect.

It however has not escaped the attention of the Attorney General that, Mr. Nandlall has over the years been given great latitude by the court and over time has become discourteous and disrespectful- two traits that are often exhibited by the party he represents.

It was Mr. Nandlall who last year ran out of the High Court and falsely accused the Attorney General of threatening to kill a sitting judge, which turned out to be completely untrue, yet he was allowed to escape sanction by the court.

As Attorney General I fully support objective comments on judgements handed down by the courts, but these must be measured and respectful without seeking to scandalise the court by describing its decision as political and that the judges who made the decision as immature. This amounts to personal invective and abuse of the judges.

It is also very clear that Mr. Nandlall is becoming unhinged and for a man who has been claiming that other people are losing cases he seems to have suffered a complete meltdown on losing another major case. Perhaps this experience in losing this case regarding the appointment of the GECOM Chairman should enlighten him that in the practice of law before the courts you win some and you lose some.  However, what is very frightening, is the serious deficiency in Mr. Nandlall’s psychological framework for him to believe that he will find the courts to rule in his favour despite the plain and literal language of Article 161 (2) that the appointment of the Chairman of GECOM is to be done by the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and not the Opposition Leader.

Therefore, as Head of the bar I again roundly condemn his behaviour and remain hopeful that the usual commentators and the Guyana Bar Association will see it fit to do same.

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