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Judiciary outlines concerns that lead to shutdown of court system

Members of the judiciary are upset over what they say appears to be another instance of interference by the Legislative and Executive branches of government in the area of the independence of the Judiciary.
 
The concern led to the court system islandwide grinding to a halt as almost 100 judges of the Appellate, Supreme and Parish Courts met at the Supreme Court in what is described as a historical summit of  the Judicial arm of Government.
 
A statement Monday afternoon from the Court Management Services (CMS), said the thrust of the meeting was to reaffirm what it calls the hallowed principles of the separation of powers doctrine and the independence of the judiciary. 
 
According to the CMS, among the issues discussed were recent statements made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, concerning the appointment of Justice Bryan Sykes to act as Chief Justice. 
 
CMS said a full statement on the issues has been prepared and will be released to the public before the end of this week.
 
The judges have also issued an apology for the inconveniences and have promised to reschedule matters for the earliest possible time.
 
Meanwhile, Court Management Services said not all court matters were affected on Monday.
 
In a statement, it said some cases were heard in the Home Circuit Court and the Gun Court.
 
Most matters scheduled for the afternoon session at the Supreme Court proceeded as scheduled. 
 
Cases that were scheduled to be heard in the Parish Courts on Monday were adjourned for the day, and all court matters will resume on Tuesday.
 
Court Management Service said the courts will undertake a number of measures in an effort to address the time lost. 
 
Judges have committed to extended sittings as soon as convenient times can be agreed with the parties to facilitate matters which were not heard on Monday. 
 


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