Is there cause to worry?

first_imgDear Editor,Editor, in an earlier letter I have addressed the curious timing of comments made by the CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron, about the need for substantive appointments of a Chancellor and Chief Justice in Guyana, when he was silent about the same state of affairs prior to 2015. I have also written about his frequent visits to Guyana and comments by the Attorney General, Basil Williams, made about ‘close’ relations between Sir Byron and the Coalition Government – comments that were made by Williams on the corridors of the High Court.I feel it necessary to question linkages between Sir Byron and the Coalition Government, since I have received some feedback after my first letter on this issue and was told that there is no clear linkage between the CCJ President and the Coalition Government other that comments from the Attorney General.Editor, aside from the Attorney General, personalities close to the Coalition Government also have close links to the CCJ President. In 2012, according to a Stabroek News article, dated October 13, 2012, it was Senior Counsel Donald Trotman (Minister Raphael Trotman’s father) and retired Judge James Patterson – current Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission – who presented the petition for Patterson’s grandson, Richard Layne, to be admitted to the local Bar.Richard Layne – whose grandfather’s appointment is currently challenged in Guyana’s courts and could very well end up at the CCJ – is currently the Judicial Assistant attached to Sir Byron, according to his LinkedIn profile. Layne, among other things, prepares legal opinions and advice to the President on matters brought to the attention of the Court.Also, Editor, Mr Layne’s matriculation is another curious matter, given that after his matriculation he served at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and moved swiftly without any experience to his current position. Someone should question how this happened.Editor, it was none other than Sir Byron who talked about an independent and impartial judiciary when he spoke at the Guyana Bar Association last August. But in light of worrisome linkages in Guyana, the question now is – Is there cause to worry? Like I said in my last letter, Sir Byron has not clarified his involvement in local happenings.Regards,Todd A Morganlast_img

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