…After almost three years of absence
After close to three years of its absence, steps are being taken to appoint a new Board of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal, Anil Nandlall told members of the media recently that the installment of a JSC—the body tasked with the oversight of judges and magistrates – is a priority for the new government.
According to Nandlall, of major concern is the position of a Land Court Judge in Berbice which has been unfilled some time. As such, he said that the government is working to swiftly remedy this issue at the level of Parliament.
“We cannot now appoint the Land Court Judge because the Judicial Service Commission has expired since 2017. Now that we have Parliament in session, we will endeavour to appoint a Judicial Service quickly, because part of the appointment process is driven by a Parliamentary procedure,” he explained.
He added, “As soon as we get that done in the Parliament, we’ll move quickly to appoint a Judicial Service Commission so that more Judicial Officers can be appointed”
Nandlall had addressed the issue after the members of the Bar Association in Berbice expressed dissatisfaction with the untimeliness of the Land Registry’s services and the non- appointment of a Land Court Justice.
The life of the membership of the last JSC expired since September 30, 2017. The JSC is a constitutionally established body, which holds the authority to make appointments and to remove and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in judicial offices. Nandlall had noted, while in opposition, that its absence put the independence of the judiciary at stake. He was among those calling for public condemnation of the former government‘s stance on the issue, and had criticized the government over the failure to appoint a new JSC Board.
The board of the JSC is made up of ex-officio members of the JSC and had included acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice, Chairman of the Guyana Public Service Union, (GPSU), a member appointed by Parliament and one by the President.
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