NIA Calls on PM to Outline Chief Justice’s Performance Criteria

The National Integrity Action, NIA, is calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to provide the criteria by which Acting Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, will be judged before being fully confirmed in the role.

The anti-corruption agency is among those outraged by the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Justice Sykes to act in the role of Chief Justice and asking him to prove himself before he can fully assume the post.

Executive Director of the NIA, Professor Trevor Munroe, says Mr. Holness should also give a timeline for Sykes’ assessment.

In an interview on Nationwide @ 5 on Friday, Professor Munroe called on the Prime Minister to provide further and better particulars on his performance appraisal for the veteran jurist.

He says the Judicial Conduct Guidelines clearly outline how judges are to be held accountable.

Professor Munroe is warning the Prime Minister against breaching the tenets of that document and the Constitution.

In a statement to the media on Friday, the NIA, said Prime Minister Holness should immediately appoint Justice Sykes to the post of Chief Justice.

Meanwhile, Attorney-at-law, Patrick Bailey, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness has put Justice Sykes in a very unfortunate position. He says Justice Sykes is presiding over a matter which involves a legal battle between a Jamaica Labour Party Councillor and one from the Opposition People’s National Party. He says, however, Justice Sykes rules on the matter, it will be questioned.

That court matter is an election petition case involving the Councillor for the Yallahs Division, the JLP’s Dean Jones. Mr. Jones is being accused of breaching the Local Government Act of 2016.

The PNP’s Constantine Bogle is claiming Mr. Jones was a civil servant at the time he was elected Councillor in last November’s local government election.
He’s also contending Mr. Jones doesn’t live in Yallahs.

In the meantime, Mr. Bailey says it’s difficult to support the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Justice Sykes to act as Chief Justice.

This, as Mr. Bailey says there was a full vacancy for the post and the Prime Minister had enough time to make his recommendation.

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