Mar 23, 2011 News
Magistrate Omeyana Hamilton was yesterday dismissed from her judicial duties, two years after been sworn in by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
Kaieteur News was told that the magistrate received the dismissal letter from the Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh, some time yesterday.
This newspaper was told that dismissal came after the magistrate refused to travel on a speedboat to the mining town of Bartica.
Sources close to the magistrate explained that Hamilton who also operates Court Six in Georgetown, would normally travel to Bartica via ferry. The ferry operates three times weekly, which means the magistrate would start court session late in the mining community.
The ferry would arrive mid-afternoon.
The Judicial Service Commission found that as a result Magistrate Hamilton’s production was not what it should be had she reached the mining community early in the morning.
And as a consequence of the use of the ferry, matters in Georgetown would have to wait for the return of the magistrate.
It was suggested that the magistrate travel by speedboat, which would see her returning to Georgetown on the same day. However it was explained that Hamilton would normally become nauseated whenever she travelled via speedboat.
Kaieteur News understands that the magistrate had an audience with the requisite authority and told them about her grievances.
Obviously the magistrate’s safety has not been taken into consideration, since she was issued with a dismissal letter, the source said.
The source further explained that Hamilton is one of the most dedicated magistrates in the system. “She’s always on time and there was never any issue with Magistrate Hamilton.”
In recent times, magistrates were suspended for their alleged infractions, and not terminated, one member of the magistracy noted.
If reservation about one’s safety is an infraction then something is radically wrong, the magistrate said.
In 2009, Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond was sent on two weeks’ suspension after she left the jurisdiction, allegedly without permission.
Chandan-Edmond had left Guyana to attend a relative’s funeral in neighbouring Suriname.
After her return, she received a letter seeking her explanation for her unauthorised absence from work, and also for her departure without seeking permission from the Judicial Service Commission.
Members of the JSC along with the magistrate met and debated about the issue. Soon after that meeting she was told by members of the JSC, that she would be suspended for two weeks without pay.
The Magistrate is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for the breach of article 199 of the Constitution. She is also seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for the breach of her not being under the protection of the Office of the President.
And she is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for the wrongful suspension from the office of the Magistrate for the period of two weeks
Magistrate Hamilton, prior to her appointment, had served in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. She also worked in the Magistrates’ Court and with Legal Aid.
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