President Donald Ramotar has issued the Puisne Judges (maximum number) Order 2014 pursuant to Section 3 of the High Court Act, Cap. 3:02 to increase the number of Puisne Judges to 20.
According to a statement issued today by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall the Order was duly published on the February 8, 2014, in the Official Gazette.
The decision to increase the complement of Puisne Judges was made after due consultation with the Judiciary.
“It is yet another demonstration of the Executive’s commitment to adequately resourcing the judiciary and supporting its institutional strengthening in order to ensure that in the end, justice is delivered to our people efficiently, competently and with dispatch,” the AG said.
He added that it is the hope of the Administration that this new measure will assist in bringing much-needed alacrity to the rate at which cases are heard and determined in the judicial system.
From all indications, it appears that the current complement of Puisne Judges is wholly inadequate to meet the volume of litigation engaging the justice system.
Justice Desiree Bernard in her farewell speech at a special sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice in Guyana last week echoed a call for an increase complement of Puisne Judges to effectively carry out the administration of justice.
“We are pleased to note that the Administration had already acted on the matter. We trust that those who are endowed with the high constitutional responsibility of recruiting candidates to fill the new vacancies, will discharge this responsibility with due care and circumspection in order to ensure that the new appointees are imbued with the requisite competence and integrity befitting the office to which they seek appointment. In this regard, we hope that quality will never be sacrificed for quantity,” the Legal Affairs Minister stated.