Bar Association calls on President to appoint judge
Stabroek News
September 29, 2002

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The Guyana Bar Association (GBA) is considering its options following the failure of President Jagdeo to appoint James Bovell Drakes as a puisne judge in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

A GBA press release states that the JSC had written to the President on October 10, 2001, advising him that Bovell Drakes was a suitable candidate to fill one of the judicial vacancies in the High Court. After the advice was not acted upon, the GBA wrote asking Cabinet secretary Dr Roger Luncheon on July 22 about the matter, and he replied, according to the GBA, that "the proposed appointment generated interest at the level of the Attorney General's chambers and the private Bar... the reservation entertained by the Office of the President is reflected in the substance of Mr. B.T.I. Pollard's contentions in his correspondence to President Jagdeo."

Chairman of the JSC, Bryn Pollard, the release said, subsequently told the GBA that there existed no impediment to Bovell Drakes' appointment, as the JSC had been properly constituted at the time when it had made the recommendation.

The GBA said it wrote another letter to Luncheon on August 12 advising him that "Article 128 imposes a mandatory constitutional duty on his Excellency the President to appoint the person whom the Judicial Service Commission has advised, to the office of a High Court Judge.

The language of Article 128 is in the imperative mood."

Dr Luncheon, it was said, did not reply to this letter or to another sent on August 28.

The GBA has resolved to seek the legal opinion of three senior counsel for their recommendations on appropriate action.

Stabroek News was unable to reach Dr Luncheon for a comment.