My View

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By Don­ald Ramo­tar By Don­ald Ramo­tar For­mer Pres­i­dent

Economists

have pointed out over and over that there is a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion be­tween so­cial and economic de­vel­op­ment and an in­de­pen­dent, ef­fi­cient and com­pe­tent ju­di­ciary. It was, there­fore, re­fresh­ing when I read the re­port of Sir Den­nis By­ron’s speech at the 37th an­nual din­ner, which was held at the Pe­ga­sus Ho­tel on Novem­ber 11, 2017.

Sir By­ron touched, in his speech, on many is­sues af­fect­ing the ju­di­ciary that is im­ped­ing the dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice.

The speech it­self raised sev­eral is­sues, which should be com­mented on, for ex­am­ple, the sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing the top two po­si­tions in the Ju­di­ciary with per­sons act­ing and not ap­pointed for many years.

How­ever, that will be the sub­ject of a fu­ture ar­ti­cle.

In this piece I would like to fo­cus on the points raised by Sir Den­nis By­ron as it re­lates to the efficiency and the timely writ­ing up of de­ci­sions by judges.

He made the point that the in­tegrity of the ju­di­ciary is pri­mar­ily a mat­ter for reg­u­la­tion by the ju­di­ciary it­self. He went on to say that it should not be nec­es­sary for the ex­ec­u­tive or the leg­isla­tive to in­ter­vene.

How­ever, he is quoted to have said:

“I ob­served that such in­ter­ven­tions did oc­cur in Guyana where, due to a per­cep­tion of per­sis­tent and sys­temic de­lay in judg­ment de­liv­ery, the leg­is­la­ture passed leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing the time that judges must make and de­liver judg­ments…”.

I must say that Sir By­ron was right in his ob­ser­va­tion.

It is more than a per­cep­tion, though; it is in­deed a fact that many cases have been com­pleted, some af­ter a long while, but yet judg­ments are not writ­ten up to com­plete the process. Many per­sons lan­guish in jail await­ing trial due to the sloth in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice.

That piece of leg­is­la­tion was passed in the Na­tional As­sem­bly by the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion be­cause of the recog­ni­tion that such de­lays have on the econ­omy.

Busi­nesses suf­fer huge losses as a con­se­quent of such long pe­ri­ods to con­clude mat­ters.

Not only big and small busi­nesses suf­fer, but or­di­nary work­ers and farm­ers, peo­ple with fam­i­lies with modest in­come bases are forced to put their lives on hold.

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