Monday, April 22, 2024

Judge rules president violated Guyana constitution

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Georgetown – A High Court judge on Friday found that President Irfaan Ali violated Guyana’s Constitution when he suspended the then chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe in 2021.

Justice Gino Persaud ruled also that there had been no mechanism in place to give the former top cop a fair hearing.

“In summary, therefore, the decision of His Excellency the President to suspend the chairman and other members of the Commission was unlawful and in contravention of Article 225 of the Constitution, arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, in violation of a suspended Chairman and Commissioners constitutional rights that are protection of the law and due process of the law,” Justice Persaud said.

Slowe had sought a declaration from the High Court that his suspension and that of the other PSC members by President Ali  was contrary to and in violation of the Constitution of Guyana, in particular articles 225 (6) and 210 (3).

In his ruling, the judge noted the issue should have been put to the tribunal of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for ventilation but there is no JSC in place.

Justice Persaud said that President Ali, acting on advice of Prime Minister Mark Phillips, suspended Slowe on June 16, 2021, although there was no Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to appoint a Tribunal to hear allegations against the then PSC.

He said that the doctrine of necessity would have to be invoked to validate the President’s actions. (CMC)

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