Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Patterson tells Holness to reconsider acting chief justice, wary of constitutional crisis

Published:Tuesday | February 6, 2018 | 9:27 AM
Patterson ... it would result in a constitutional crisis if a legal action were to be filed against the Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister P.J Patterson says Prime Minister Andrew Holness should reconsider his position to appoint Bryan Sykes to act as Chief Justice.

Prime Minister Holness has been blasted by critics for appointing the jurist to act instead of a permanent post saying it amounts to putting the judge on probation which interferes with the principle of separation of powers.

But the head of government has maintained his position saying he is from a new age with a new way of thinking.

READ: I can't be any clearer ... PM defends appointing acting chief justice

"Actions that brings (sic) results will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice," Holness had told the audience at Sykes' swearing in.

IN PHOTO: Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking with Acting Chief Justice Bryan Sykes on Thursday.

But Patterson, in an interview on Nationwide Radio last evening, took issue with the prime minister arguing that the acting appointment has placed Sykes in an unpleasant position.

He said the Chief Justice should not be fettered and the separation of powers must be maintained.

The former prime minister contends that security of tenure is an important element for the discharge of judicial function by the Chief Justice.


Former Prime Minister P.J Patterson

Responding to comments about a possible legal challenge to Justice Sykes’ acting appointment by the Prime Minister, Patterson said this would result in a constitutional crisis if a legal action were to be filed.

The former prime minister says all this can be avoided with Prime Minister Holness does the right thing by appointing Justice Sykes.

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