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Judges meet over Chief Justice appointment

Monday, February 12, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — OBSERVER ONLINE understands that judges islandwide are meeting to find a way forward over what is described as Prime Minister Andrew Holness' refusal to permanently appoint Acting Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.

Sykes was appointed to act as head of Jamaica's judiciary at the end of January. It marked the first time in Jamaica's history that anyone had been so appointed — which sparked ongoing disapproval by sections of the society; more so the legal fraternity, which felt that Holness, who is vested with the authority to recommend the Chief Justice, made a wrong move.

Under Jamaican law, the Prime Minister recommends the Chief Justice, after consulting with the Leader of the Opposition. The Governor General then appoints and signs the appointment into law.

In the meantime, court hearings across the island have been impacted, most notably the ongoing murder trial involving Michael McLean who has been accused of murdering six members of a St Thomas family in 2006.

Justice Bertram Morrison who is the judge presiding in the McLean case cancelled the trial because of "administrative matters" he said he must attend to.

OBSERVER ONLINE understands that currently there are no sittings at the Half Way Tree court, Court of appeal and Supreme court.

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