Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Letter of the Day | Road to hell paved with good intentions

Published:Thursday | February 8, 2018 | 12:08 AM


Prime Minister Andrew Holness means well. At least, that is the prevailing sentiment regarding his most controversial decision to date. I would hesitate to affix any other intent to the prime minister's actions. The ill-fated decision to appoint Bryan Sykes, to act as Jamaica's chief justice, until he fully proves himself, whatever this translates to, has rightfully heightened interest in a process which is routinely smooth and without controversy.

As stated at the outset, Mr Holness' decision to break with tradition, and perhaps, as some say, with Constitutional law, is rooted in a noble endeavour aimed at bringing more accountability on behalf of a citizenry whose constant refrain is, 'we want justice'. It must be pointed out that however noble the pursuit, the ends cannot justify the means. It is no secret that there exists a very low case disposal rate within our court system. This backlog can be attributable to a host of longstanding factors, chief of which relates to resource constraints.

One does not have to get entangled in legal jargon or wranglings to note that this decision begs for not only an appeal, but reversal. In making his announcement, Mr Holness stated that he was, "from a different age with a different way of thinking." Regardless of the times to which one belongs, some things are timeless, among them is the fact that justice must not only be done but also seen to be done.

Noel Matherson