Fri | Nov 16, 2018

UPDATE: Courts crippled as judges meet over appointment of acting Chief Justice

Published:Monday | February 12, 2018 | 11:03 AM
A section of the Supreme Court in Kingston. – Norman Grindley Photo

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

Courts across the island have been disrupted as judges gather 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.

In the corporate area, the Supreme Court and the Appeal Court are among those not in session.

The meeting of the judges began before 10 a.m.,  with one 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.

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.