Administrative processes held up Justice Syke's full appointment – Chuck
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has disclosed that Justice Bryan Sykes was appointed acting chief justice because all the administrative processes for a full appointment had not been completed in time.
Justice Sykes was sworn in on February 1, a day after Justice Zaila McCalla retired from the post of chief justice.
However, there has been widespread disapproval of the acting appointment given that the Justice MCalla’s retirement date had been known for months.
Some have argued that the acting appointment could lead to interference with the judiciary by the executive, headed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Defending the appointment on current affairs programme, All Angles last night, Chuck, said all the processes were not completed in time for a permanent appointment on February 1.
Chuck has also taken issue with the unprecedented meeting by judges on Monday, which led to a halt of most court proceedings for the day.
The judges met to discuss the Prime Minister’s suggestion he would have to be pleased with the performance of Justice Sykes before appointing him fully to the post of chief justice.
They said the statement had serious implications for the fundamental principles of separation of power and the independence of the judiciary.
However, Chuck says their meeting was irresponsible, especially given the effect on court proceedings.
He says they could have sought other remedies before taking such a drastic step.