Gold­ing says Chuck’s re­marks in­ap­pro­pri­ate

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

OP­PO­SI­TION SPOKESMAN on Jus­tice Se­na­tor Mark Gold­ing has is­sued a cau­tion to his coun­ter­part Delroy Chuck, say­ing his broad-brush­ing of the ju­di­ciary, in re­la­tion to the time­line within which judg­ments are handed down, was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

He said while no one is above crit­i­cism, in­clud­ing judges, Chuck’s com­ments were un­fair to the ju­di­ciary.

Chuck had said he was not seek­ing to in­ter­fere with the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary, but made it clear that he would not re­lent in urg­ing judges to hand down judg­ments within six months.

Mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary met on Mon­day to dis­cuss, among other things, re­marks by the jus­tice min­is­ter who crit­i­cised them about the slow pace at which sen­tences were de­liv­ered.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day at a press con­fer­ence at the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party head­quar­ters, Old Hope Road in St An­drew, Se­na­tor Gold­ing said it was dan­ger­ous for a min­is­ter to broad-brush the ju­di­ciary in terms of their per­for­mance.

He warned that the jus­tice min­is­ter’s com­ments could de­mor­alise and un­der­mine the col­lec­tive ef­fort that was needed to move the jus­tice sys­tem for­ward.

Se­na­tor Gold­ing said Min­is­ter Chuck should be care­ful not to tres­pass on the con­sti­tu­tional bound­aries be­tween the ex­ec­u­tive and the ju­di­ciary in terms of rec­om­mend­ing sen­tenc­ing, which is within the purview of the judges who have the facts of a par­tic­u­lar case be­fore them.

“It is not for a min­is­ter to be telling judges what sort of sen­tences to be handed down – the law as passed by Par­lia­ment sets the pa­ram­e­ters for sen­tenc­ing – the judges must ex­er­cise their ju­di­cial dis­cre­tion, based on the facts be­fore them, in ap­ply­ing the law as it stands.

“Rather than tear­ing down bridges, he should re­in­force the re­la­tion­ship of trust and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Gov­ern­ment, ju­di­ciary and Par­lia­ment,” Gold­ing in­sisted.



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