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Weekly Round-up: Chief Justice saga... Banking Bill thrown out... Babsy's ministry defends Etana's tour grant

Sunday, February 18, 2018

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Things came to a head this week between the island's judiciary and Prime Minister Andrew Holness 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 on 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.

Holness responded on Tuesday saying that his comment was taken out of context and used to create a non-existent threat to the independence of the judiciary.

He also reaffirmed his administration's stance on separation of powers; judicial independence and accountability.

Also on Tuesday, the government used its majority to reject Opposition Member of Parliament, Fitz Jackson's Banking Bill after contending that most of the proposals were already covered in legislation passed by the previous and current administrations and in new law being studied.

In light of mounting criticism on its decision to give reggae singer Etana a US$5,000 grant under its Tour Support and Artiste Ambassador Programme for her 32-city North American tour, the Entertainment Ministry on Tuesday stood by its decision saying that there is a clear process for potential recipients.

Watch as OBSERVER ONLINE wraps this week for you.

See story links below:

Courts shut down as judges protest chief justice issue

Cabinet reaffirms separation of powers, judicial independence and accountability

Sykes to be chief justice on Friday — source

Gov't MPs throw out Jackson's Banking Bill

JCF probing 'assault' video posted by media house

Entertainment Ministry justifies Etana's grant

Newborn found in Old Harbour KFC

Newborn found in Old Harbour KFC to be put up for adoption

3-y-o shot dead while walking with stepdad in St Mary

RIU boss arrested

25-y-o faces court next week for murder of elderly couple

Drama for Jamaica as coach quits trailblazing women bobsleigh team

Red Stripe offers Ja women's bobsleigh team a sled

Clovis toon