Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Bar association and Holness to meet over Chief Justice issue

Published:Tuesday | February 27, 2018 | 9:58 AM

The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre has learnt Prime Minister Andrew Holness is to meet today with representatives of the Jamaican Bar Association in relation to the appointment of a chief justice.

Supreme Court Judge Bryan Sykes was appointed on February 1 to act in the vacancy created by the retirement of Zaila McCalla on January 31.

However, there has since been strong criticism from various groups, including the Jamaican Bar Association.

The bar association has threatened to file a suit over the failure of the Prime Minister to recommend someone for a permanent appointment as Chief Justice.

The association argues that the constitution does not contemplate the appointment of an acting chief justice, except in cases of emergency. 

Questioned yesterday about whether the suit has been filed, a representative of the bar association said the filing is imminent, unless a quick resolution to the matter can be brokered.

On February 12 courts across the island were disrupted as judges met to discuss comments by the Prime Minister which seemed to suggest Justice Sykes was on probation.

The judges later issued a declaration stressing the principle of the separation of power.

Last week, it was revealed that the governor general, Sir Patrick Allen, subsequently convened a meeting involving representatives of the judiciary, legislature and executive arms of the government.