Leader of the Opposition David Granger has proposed a formula for the selection of a new Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice and its a formula he believes would break the gridlock that has dogged the appointment process for the past several years.
The Opposition Leader on Monday told News Source that he recently met with President Donald Ramotar in accordance with the constitution on the appointment of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice.
He explained that at that meeting he offered a formula which would see the filling of the positions being advertised and interested persons being allowed to “come forward with their applications and be interviewed” for the top Judicial positions.
Mr. Granger said under his plan, a special panel would be put in place to conduct the interviews and choose the best candidates for the position. President Ramotar wants the Acting Chancellor Carl Singh and Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang to be confirmed in the two positions.
Granger said it is now time to move away from the gridlock that was there since Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo was President and Mr. Robert Corbin was Opposition Leader. He said “after such a long time, we should commit the entire issue rather than go back to the gridlock”.
The process under his plan would be a transparent one, Mr. Granger explained and is that could work in his opinion. “It’s the only new thinking that has come out for the last several years. What’s the point of the two sides colliding once again? This is the first time that we have come up with way to get around issue. We want a transparent process and outcome”, Granger said, as he explained that he is not satisfied with the current situation in the Judiciary.
The President has not bought into Granger’s plan as yet and the Government’s Chief Legal mind, Attorney General Anil Nandalall at a Monday Press Conference said he believes that the two Justices already acting in the positions should be confirmed.
Nandalall said the situation as it is now and has been for the past several years, is “unhealthy” with the appointments not being confirmed.
The Opposition Leader said “this is the age of transparency” and a transparent process should determine who will take up the top Judicial posts in the country.
Under the Guyana Constitution, “The Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall each be appointed by the President, acting after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition”.
Guyana has not had a substantive Chancellor of the Judiciary since 2005 when the Honourable Justice Desiree Bernard left the post to take up an appointment at the Caribbean Court of Justice and then Chief Justice Carl Singh was appointed as the Acting Chancellor.
Justice Ian Chang has been acting as Chief Justice since 2007.