Motion seeks to have President abide by advice on judge's appointment
December 22, 2002
A notice of motion was yesterday filed in the High Court by lawyers on behalf of the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) seeking among other things a declaration that President Bharrat Jagdeo is legally and constitutionally obligated to appoint attorney at law James Bovell-Drakes as a High Court judge.
The Attorney-General has been named as the respondent and the matter is expected to come up on December 30.
Lawyers for the Bar Association are also seeking a declaration that the President is bound to act upon the advice given to him by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in a letter dated October 10, 2001 that Bovell-Drakes be appointed a judge of the High Court; an order directing the President to make the appointment and an interpretation of Article 128(1) of the Constitution of Guyana and Section 14 of the Constitution (Amendment) (No.4) Act 2001.
The lawyers for the Bar Association - Rex McKay SC, Clarence Hughes SC, Keith Massiah SC and Miles Fitzpatrick SC - noted in the grounds of the application for the declarations that on October 10, 2001 the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Desiree Bernard in her capacity as Chairman of the JSC wrote the President advising him that at a meeting of the JSC it was agreed that Bovell-Drakes be appointed to fill one of the judicial vacancies in the High Court.
The notice of motion said that the President has not acted on the advice given to him nor has he appointed Bovell-Drakes a judge of the High Court.
Further, it said that the Bar Association had written to the President on July 22, 2002 enquiring as to the reason why the President had not acted upon the advice of the JSC.
To date, the GBA has not received a reply, the notice said.