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Court of Appeal judge asked to resign after UK disbarment

FLASH BACK: President Donald Ramotar presentING Justice Rabi Shankar Sukul his document following his swearing-in as a Justice of Appeal

A Guyana Court of Appeal Judge, Rabi Sukul has been asked to resign after he was disbarred by the Bar Council of England and Wales for intentionally misleading a client of his who was convicted of drug-related offences.

“The acting Chancellor has requested the immediate resignation of Justice Sukul who has undertaken to do so,” the Office of the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh said in a statement.

Sukul, who has chalked up 25 years legal practice in the United Kingdom (UK), was sworn in as a Justice of Appeal in July, 2013.

The Office of the Chancellor said it took the decision after confirming with Justice Sukul the news of the disbarment that came to the attention of Justice Singh on January 14. Sukul was disbarred on February 3. He was granted special leave last week to “to attend to urgent personal matters in the United Kingdom.”

The Law Society Gazette said Justice Sukul could appeal the decision.

The Law Society reported that Sukul was disbarred for intentionally misleading his client by drafting false grounds of appeal.

The bar’s disciplinary tribunal this week heard that Sukul, of Balham Chambers, London, drafted a document to the Court of Appeal setting out initial grounds for an appeal against conviction on behalf of his client, L, who had been convicted of drugs-related offences.

The tribunal found he had created the document, knowing it to be false, with the intention of misleading L into believing he had grounds to appeal his conviction, when Sukul knew there were no grounds of appeal.

The five-person tribunal, chaired by His Honour Michael Baker QC, found unanimously that Sukul had intentionally misled his client and engaged in conduct likely to bring the legal profession into disrepute. Sukul was ordered to be disbarred.

Sukul was called to the bar by Lincoln’s Inn in July 1988.

Head of professional conduct at the Bar Standards Board Sara Down said: ‘Our duty as a regulator is, first and foremost, to protect the public and safeguard the client.