No vacancy, Carl Singh already holds post – Jagdeo
…says AG is ill-advised
November 3, 2015
By , Source
With discussions ongoing regarding the existing vacancy to fill the post of Chief Justice, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is contending that in actuality there is no vacancy for this position since acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh already substantively holds the post of Chief Justice.
President David Granger is yet to engage Jagdeo on the appointment of a new Chief Justice to replace acting Chief Justice Ian Chang who is set to go on pre-retirement leave in February 2016.
Government has already announced that it has been advertising for the post of Chief Justice, both locally and overseas. However, Jagdeo pointed out that there was no vacancy and that the Attorney General Basil Williams appeared to be ill-advised.
“I’ve noticed the Attorney General is speaking liberally on this matter in the media and I just don’t understand; I think he is ill-advised.
There is no vacancy for a Chief Justice. Carl Singh substantively holds the post of Chief Justice,” Jagdeo highlighted during a recent interview with Guyana Times.
Therefore, automatically Justice Singh would come to the fore to be appointed as Chief Justice. Asked whether he would support the appointment of Justice Singh as Chief Justice, Jagdeo declined to comment.
According to the constitutional reform process of 2000, appointments to the positions of Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chief Justice need the approval of both the President and the Leader of the Opposition.
“He is acting as Chancellor because the Constitution provides for the Leader of the Opposition to agree with the President on the appointment of the Chief Justice and the Chancellor. The Government can’t just consult; they have to get the agreement of the Opposition Leader. So the Opposition effectively has a veto on the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice. They’ve exercised that veto in the past, because they refused to confirm or to agree to the appointment of Chang as Chief Justice and Singh as Chancellor,” Jagdeo explained.
Nevertheless, Jagdeo said Government was yet to approach him on the issue, and when that happened, he would accordingly address the situation.
Meanwhile, Williams when asked by media operatives for an update on the matter stated that there was “nothing to update”.
About two weeks ago, Minister Williams had told reporters that he was currently in discussions with President Granger about recommendations for a new Chief Justice. “The question of a vacancy occurring in the Office of Chief Justice would arise very shortly and when the Chief Justice goes on leave, obviously somebody has to act in his position,” Williams had stated.
Justice Chang confirmed with Guyana Times that he would be heading into retirement on February 23, 2016.