Lawyers shun judicial appointments
…Big name, no money

Kaieteur News
January 16, 2007

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The title of Magistrate or Judge is just a big name but the salary is not appropriate, according to senior lawyers.

These lawyers are apprehensive about taking up an elevated position in the magistracy or the judiciary.

The consensus among the lawyers is that the relevant authorities have not been addressing the issue aggressively; hence cases are piled up on the few underpaid Magistrates and Judges.

One prominent attorney said, “To be fair, backlogged cases have been tackled; officials are trying to discard old and abandoned cases in which litigants and attorneys have failed to proceed further after the matter engaged the courts.”

One eminent magistrate indicated an approval of the promotion of senior lawyers but understands that these lawyers are comfortable in their current position where there is potential to earn more, especially with the cost of living so demanding.

When asked about the recent influx of lawyers that are being admitted to the Bar many senior attorneys were appreciative.

One attorney lauded the influx saying, “The potential is now in place to improve the jurisprudence of our country. It also means better service for the public; lawyers are now forced to pay more attention to the needs of the client because of the competition for clientele.”

He added, “The recent brain-drain which has afflicted the country's development is now appearing to be slowing down. We are currently raising our standards academically.”

One attorney said, “Persons who chose to remain in this country to practise law help to improve the educational standard of our people…More young people are motivated to achieve such positions…There is always room at the top.

“There is a need for lawyers not only in the courts but also in the corporate sector. Apart from the courts there are several avenues where legal expertise is required and big companies have been utilizing the expanding resources now available to them.”

Many young lawyers choose not to work in the courts but opt to provide legal counseling and act as company secretaries and other such positions.