Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Churches join calls for chief justice to be appointed immediately

Published:Monday | February 5, 2018 | 5:16 PM
Last week at the swearing in of Justice Bryan Sykes to act in the post, Prime Minister Andrew Holness suggested he would have to prove himself before being permanently appointed. - File Photo

The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) has added its voice to concerns about the appointment of an acting chief justice, saying Prime Minister Andrew Holness should find more effective ways of establishing systems of accountability for the office if he thinks it’s lacking.

Last week at the swearing in of Justice Bryan Sykes to act in the post, Holness suggested he would have to prove himself before being permanently appointed.

However, the JCC says the Chief Justice should not be subjected to a probationary period and Holness should move to appoint Justice Sykes to the post immediately.

The church group says the appointment of Jamaica’s chief Justice should never be clothed in any garb that even remotely suggests a catering to the personal pleasure of any member of the Executive.

It says it’s particularly concerned that no information has been given on the length of the probationary period, the performance criteria against which Justice Sykes will be judged and who would do the evaluation.

The JCC says the insecurity of tenure does not aid in the strengthening of the Office, especially at a time when Jamaicans continue to demonstrate a deplorable lack of respect for the important symbols of national life.

However, speaking at a party meeting last night in St Andrew, Holness continued to justify his actions in relation to the appointment.

He insisted he was not trying to influence the justice system but said he would not be sticking to conventions which have not yielded results.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The opposition People's National Party, National integrity Action and the Jamaican Bar Association have also called for the immediate appointment of Justice Sykes.