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Jun 16, 2015

Battle Hinges on Independence of the Judiciary

Godfrey Smith

President Mottley resigned in 2010 while Morrison stayed on until April of this year. Their colleagues on the court at the time, now-President Manuel Sosa and Denys Barrow, were given longer terms of appointment although Barrow also resigned. Senior Counsels Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith represent the Association. Smith argues that for courts to retain their independence and impartiality in deciding disputes, their officers must not be subject to the whim and fancy of the Executive.

 

Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Bar Association

“This is challenge to certain constitutional amendments that the Government enacted. I think it is around 2009. Essentially, we are saying that the amendments introduce one year periods of appoint for Judges of the Courts of Appeal, which we believe are unconstitutional that it goes to the heart of security of tenure. All Judges be they Supreme Court Judges or Judges of Court of Appeal should enjoy independence. This is not saying that the Judges are biased; that’s a different argument. Our argument is that for the public to have confidence that Judges are independent of the executives, there are certain objective conditions that needs to be in place.  One of them is that they should enjoy security of tenure, which means that they should not be appointed for the period of one year. I am simplifying it, because it is much more complex than that but that in essence was the argument today.”

 

Justices Christopher Blackman, Minnet Hafiz-Bertram and Murrio Ducille have reserved their decision.

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1 Response for “Battle Hinges on Independence of the Judiciary”

  1. CEO says:

    It only makes sense!

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