Sun | Jan 20, 2019

In support of PM's decision

Published:Thursday | February 8, 2018 | 12:07 AM


My mother always said that if everyone likes you all the time, then you are doing something wrong. In the case of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, truer words could not have been said.

The latest reason persons have found to not like the PM is his appointment of Justice Skyes as the acting chief justice, emphasising the 'acting'. I can most certainly say this it is a new way of doing things and I support it wholeheartedly.

The most sound counter argument to the decision of the prime minister is that appointing the chief justice on a probational period interferes in the independence of the judiciary. Let's examine the facts of the situation, briefly. The previous chief justice, the distinguished Zaila McCalla, did not hear a single case during her tenure as chief justice. This highlights the fact that the role of the chief justice is largely administrative. The average Jamaican is more concerned with the effective management of the court system and accountability. Matters such as, that court case backlogs are cleared up, management, proper records are kept plain and simple.

In addition, remember that the court system is funded by taxpayers' dollars. Therefore, the salaries, maintenance, cost of running the court houses, all come from the public purse. This all begs the question, why should someone be appointed if he or she does not meet basic standards to manage this critical branch of government? Did I mention this is a lifetime appointment and once appointed they cannot be removed? With that said, somebody needs to be held accountable.

The final thing I need to say is that judges are barred from speaking publicly and as such the public is never privy to the insight of a judge on matters of national importance. Since they are not able to say it, I will do it for them. Many experienced judges agree with the PM on the probational appointment. Many overlook the fact that the vastly experienced Justice Skyes, now acting chief justice, accepted the appointment. A judge of his experience would not accept an appointment if he did not like the terms..

Javon Moatt