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President has authority to appoint Senior Counsel; way cleared for Nandlall, Jonas to be conferred

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 December 2020, 16:18 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney-at-Law, Timothy Jonas

High Court Judge, Naresh Harnanan on Thursday ruled that the Executive President has the authority to appoint Senior Counsel, clearing the way for the conferment of the title to three lawyers by President Irfaan Ali later in the afternoon.

They are Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and Attorneys-at-Law Timothy  Jonas and Jamela Ali.

Mr. Jonas had challenged the role of the Executive President in the process, saying that that was not a role for the President because it amounted to intrusion of the Executive on the judiciary. Mr. Jonas had instead said that that role was for the Full Court of the High Court.

The Guyana Bar Association supported the position of the sitting Attorney General that it is the Executive President who should confer silk and the acceptance of that person from the outer Bar to the Inner Bar at a sitting of the Full Court was more than just ceremonial.

Justice Harnanan noted that Mr. Jonas has not established with any evidence that the appointment by the President would affect the independence of the court, political or executive control or interfered with the court’s autonomy.

Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall

The judge, however, agreed and took into consideration an assurance by Attorney G

eneral Nandlall that a transparent process needs to be put in place for the conferment of Senior Counsel, also known as Silk.

 

Attorney-at-Law Teni Housty, on behalf of the Guyana Bar Association, as a friend of the court, made an impassionedequest for no costs to be awarded because it was a public interest case.