Letters to the Editor

Consider this 'for the first time at last'

Monday, February 12, 2018

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Dear Editor,

There now appears to be growing consensus among objective public affairs commentators that Prime Minister Andrew Holness's decision to recommend Justice Bryan Sykes as acting chief justice is well-intentioned and aimed at improving accountability and expediting administrative systems and procedures in the judicial system, rather than interfering with judicial independence.

Some commentators suggest that the way it was done was wrong, as it provides an opening for unnecessary conflict and constitutional crisis. But the way forward, they say, is to focus on how to accomplish this improved accountability objective without the crisis feared and/or predicted by many legal and other “experts”.

It is my view that that is exactly what Prime Minister Holness and Acting Chief Justice Sykes are doing. Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Horace Chang's strong hint of possible prior agreement between Holness and Sykes, on the Nationwide News Network's Nationwide at Five makes a whole heap of sense — even if it is “for the first time at last”, and in their own style.

Bearing in mind the saying that, “Success requires no explanation and failure accepts no alibi,” it would be fascinating for me to hear the reaction of former Prime Minister P J Patterson, and those who urge the prime minister to “humble himself”, if the following scenario turns out to be true: The prime minister and acting chief justice consulted, discussed, and agreed, in advance, to work together to achieve shared objectives in the interest of the nation.

Sounds like a dream, right?

Maybe, but don't forget this is the age referred to in the scriptures when “...your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams...”(Joel 2.28/Acts 2:17).

It may just be time for the rest of us to wake up and join the prime minister and the acting chief justice to get the work done well — even if it is “for the first time at last”.

Carlton A Gordon

Kingston 10


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