One year on, questions still remain about CCJ’s impartiality

first_imgDear Editor,On May 21st, 2018, sections of the media graciously published my letter which called attention to the linkage between an individual at the Caribbean Court of Justice and the APNU/AFC Coalition Government. Now, a year later, questions on the same matter remain unanswered.I remind that, in 2012, according to an article dated October 13, 2012, it was Senior Counsel Donald Trotman (Minister Raphael Trotman’s father) and retired Justice James Patterson, current Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, who presented the petition for Patterson’s grandson, Mr. Richard Layne, to be admitted to the local Bar.Mr. Layne, whose grandfather’s appointment is currently challenged and is currently before the Caribbean Court of Justice, is currently a Judicial Assistant attached to the very Court.According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Layne, among other things, conducts research for the President of the Court on all legal matters impacting the work of the Court, and prepares legal opinions and advice to the President on matters brought to the attention of the Court.The Caribbean Court of Justice is expected to soon rule on the challenge to Mr. Layne’s grandfather’s appointment as the Chairman of GECOM. In Guyana’s case, can we expect a fair decision on this matter? Will Mr. Layne present an unbiased legal opinion to the Caribbean Court of Justice? Or will Mr. Layne work in his grandfather’s interest and say ‘to hell’ with our country’s Constitution?These questions ought to be answered in order to remove doubts as to the fairness and impartiality of the CCJ. Such concerns have been raised not only in respect to Guyana alone, but several other Caribbean islands. It is these very concerns which have seen several Caribbean governments express reservations about making the CCJ their final legal arbiter.Regards,Todd A Morganlast_img

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