Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Judges meeting over appointment of acting chief justice

Published:Monday | February 12, 2018 | 10:02 AM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

Judges from across the island are now gathered at the Supreme Court for a meeting to discuss the continued refusal of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to permanently appoint Bryan Sykes as chief justice. 

Holness has appointed Sykes as acting Chief Justice.

"Action that brings results (sic) will determine the assumption of the role of Chief Justice," Holness said at the swearing in.

The meeting is expected to continue past the 10 o’clock start of court proceedings, but a person close to the judiciary insisted that it is not a protest.

"They want to ensure they understand the issue of separation of powers and what this (appointment of acting Chief Justice) is all about," the source said.

"The judiciary should not be put in this position," the source added.

It is not certain if Sykes will attend the meeting.

On January 31, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte announced that Holness had asked Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to appoint Sykes to replace retired Chief Justice Zaila McCalla "until further advised."

The appointment of an acting Chief Justice was immediately frowned upon by the parliamentary Opposition, the Jamaican Bar Association and civil society groups.

However, Holness has defended the move, saying he was from a different age with a different way of thinking.