Article 199 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of members to serve the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). That provision also vests in the JSC, the power to make appointments and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in the offices of Commissioner of Title, Magistrate, Director of Public Prosecutions, and any other such office connected with the Courts or for appointment to which legal qualifications are required.
With the appointment of members to the JSC by former President Donald Ramotar in 2014, the life of that Commission expired on September 12, 2017. Since then, the Granger administration never sought to expeditiously appoint new members to serve the Commission.
This point was recently raised by Attorney-at-Law and Opposition Member, Anil Nandlall in his column called, “The Unruly Horse.”
Nandlall bemoaned the fact that none of the fundamental functional responsibilities, which devolve upon the JSC, have been performed for over two years due to the negligence of the APNU+AFC coalition. In fact, Nandlall posited that the Coalition Government has once again etched its name in the annals of notoriety, as being the only Government in the English-speaking Caribbean that served more than half of its legal term in office, without appointing a JSC, when required to do so by the Constitution.
Furthermore, Nandlall said that there is no doubt that the life of the Executive expired on September 18, 2019, following the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion in the National Assembly on December 21, 2018. The lawyer said it is equally clear as well that the Eleventh Parliament of Guyana has suffered the same fate.
The Opposition Member said, “With an unconstitutional Executive occupying the seat of Government by imposition, along with a Parliament whose tenure has expired, a JSC cannot be appointed until after the elections, as the Constitution requires the appointments to be made by the President with input from the National Assembly. However, by virtue of the very Constitution, there is no President, neither is there a National Assembly.”
He added, “A clinical constitutional analysis of the governmental structure that currently exists in Guyana, leads to this ineluctable conclusion: there is no lawful Executive, nor Legislature; the only branch of Government which obtains is a Judiciary, which is presided over by an acting Chancellor and an acting Chief Justice, discharging the functions of those two Offices without the support, oversight or disciplinary powers of a JSC.”
Nandlall said that those who still refuse to recognize the constitutional crisis in which Guyana is engulfed, are akin to those subjects who were blinded by psychopathic loyalty, and refused to see the stark nakedness of the vain Emperor showing off his “new clothes” in that ancient Danish fable.