GG convenes meeting on appointment of chief justice

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen convened a tripartite meeting with representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Government of Jamaica on the written request of the Prime Minister Andrew Holness last Friday at King's House.

The meeting was convened to find a way forward over the current furore over the appointment of Justice Bryan Sykes as acting chief justice.

Holness drew criticism after saying at Sykes' swearing-in ceremony that “actions that bring results will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice.”

Members of the judiciary who met last Monday forcing courts islandwide to be on lockdown, described the remarks as “unfortunate” and sought a retraction and a public acknowledgement from Holness that the chief justice does not report to, nor is answerable to him.

In a release this afternoon, the Governor General said the meeting was intended to explore ways in which each of the branches of government can collaborate and support the smooth operation of the governance structure and provide the best service to the people of Jamaica.

Sir Patrick reiterated that the Executive had no intention of undermining or diminishing the role of the Judiciary, emphasised the high esteem in which the judicial branch was held and assured the meeting that “I do not take lightly the exercise of any authority vested in the Office of Prime Minister to ensure the effective and dignified running of the Jamaican State.

He added that his primary interest is to “ensure that all of government works in the best interest of the people and that public resources are efficiently used and properly accounted for by those who use them.”

The Executive was represented by the Prime Minister; the Ministers of Finance & the Public Service, National Security, Justice and the Attorney General. The Legislature was represented by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. The Judiciary was represented by the Chief Justice (Acting), the President of the Court of Appeal, the Senior and other Puisne Judges.




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