Sat | Jul 20, 2019

UPDATE: Judges regret crippling of courts today amid meeting

Published:Monday | February 12, 2018 | 4:33 PM
A section of the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

The island’s judges have expressed regret at the crippling of the court system today because of a meeting in Kingston involving nearly 100 of them from the appellate, supreme and parish courts.

But according to a spokesperson for the judges, the meeting was of “absolute necessity.”

“The nation’s judges recognise and deeply regret the inconvenience to litigants, attorneys and members of the public across the island, caused by Monday’s meeting in Kingston,” said a spokesperson for the judges in a release issued this afternoon.

The judges were discussing recent statements by Prime Minister Andrew Holness about the appointment of Justice Bryan Sykes to act as Chief Justice.

During the swearing-in, Holness declared: “Actions that brings results (sic) will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice.”

Since then, there has been outrage at his pronouncement with commentators saying it interferes with the principle of separation of powers.

But Holness has maintained that his position is justified, saying he is from a different age with a different way of thinking.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the judges said their concerns also extended to what appears to be other instances of interference by the Legislative and Executive branches of government in the independence of the judiciary.

The spokesperson said a full statement has been prepared and will be released to the public.

The judges also say they will endeavour to ensure that for those affected their matters are rescheduled for the earliest possible time.