Judging advice

Letters to the Editor

Judging advice

Friday, September 11, 2020

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Dear Editor,

When the post of chief justice of Jamaica was last vacant I expressed the view that Justice Brian Sykes was well-suited to fill the vacancy. I was quite pleased that the prime minister accepted my advice.

The presidency of the Court of Appeal will become vacant on December 4, 2020. I am going to offer some unsolicited advice to the prime minister as to how he should exercise his right in making the recommendation to the governor general.

He should recommend someone who, apart from possessing the expected qualities of a judge:

(a) is well-learned in the law of the land;

(b) is highly respected by the Bench and the Bar;

(c) is able to comfortably lead opinion-making and judgement formation at the level of the Court of Appeal; and

(d) has a fulsome body of judicial work accessible to the world.

I will just add that there is, in my view, such an individual who presently serves as a judge of appeal.

Seymour Panton

Former president of the Court of Appeal


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