For almost one year, there is no Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in place in Guyana, and Opposition Parliamentarian, Anil Nandlall is fearful that the judicial system will soon fall into chaos.
Nandlall in his weekly column, “Unruly Horse”, noted the Government controls the Executive, as well as, the Parliament and it has been unable to appoint new Constitutional Commissions in a timely manner when the old ones expire.
The politician further noted that on almost every occasion, months are allowed to elapse before these Commissions are appointed.
“The life of the membership of the last JSC expired since the 30th September 2017 – 10 months ago. Thus far, I am unaware of any discernible steps being taken by this Administration to reconstitute the JSC. As a result, there has been a huge constitutional vacuum. No coroner, nor magistrate nor judge could have been, or can now, be appointed.
In his usual style, Nandlall called out the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams to begin making moves. He posited that the Minister’s attention may be attracted by other things.
“The Attorney General appears blissfully unconcerned about this deplorable state of affairs and seems preoccupied with a countrywide campaign to re-elect himself as Chairman of the PNC (People’s National Congress).”
Nandlall said that government’s inability to act, creates a perception that there is some kind of “motive” involved.
“I remain unconvinced that the President’s sudden haste to make substantive appointments to the Offices of the Chancellor and Chief Justice is accentuated by any genuine concern for constitutional compliance. In my view, it is driven by a different motive. In sum, with every passing day, I become a little more convinced that this Administration is authoritarian in nature and the democratic norms, traditions and the Constitution are conceptually and ideologically viewed as obstacles in its path.”