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Complement of judges increased; AG wants persons of integrity to be appointed

Government has increased the number of Puisne Judges to 20 to help speed up court hearings and hopes that those to be appointed would not be of questionable character.

“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,” said Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.

Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) was told that the last complement of 12 dates back to the 1970s.

The Attorney General suggested that the call by Retired Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyanese Desiree Bernard on February 19 was belated because President Donald Ramotar had already issued the order on February 3 and published on February 8 in the Official Gazette. “We are pleased to note that the Administration had already acted on the matter,” said Nandlall.

His call to ensure that competent persons with  high integrity are appointment came less than one month after Court of Appeal Judge Rabi Sukul was asked to resign after the Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh learnt that he had been disbarred in the United Kingdom for misleading a client, who is a drug convict, that he had had grounds for appeal.

The Attorney General said government hoped that an increase in the complement of judges would assist in speeding up court hearings. “It is the Administration’s hope that this new measure will assist in bringing much needed alacrity to the rate at which cases are heard and determined in our 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,” he said.

Nandlall explained that 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,” he said.