Bahamian PM Called Out over Chief Justice Post

Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ failure to appoint a new chief justice demonstrates his “lack of respect” and appreciation for governance.

“He doesn’t appreciate [and] he doesn’t understand what his role is as the prime minister of this country,” said Davis, leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, the Nassau Guardian reported. “It requires him to act and not act on his own time, but act in a manner that conventions and protocols dictate. He has to show respect for the other arms of government. By responding in that way it shows his lack of respect and his lack of appreciation for governance.”

Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs died in August after serving in the position for two weeks. He had been chief justice for several months after former Chief Justice Sir Hartman Longley was appointed Court of Appeal president in December 2017.

Because the prime minister hasn’t yet chosen a new chief justice, Davis said he does not have an understanding or appreciation for the importance of each arm of government having a substantive head.

“This deadline and unwarranted and unexplained delay in appointing a chief justice does not augur well for the administration of justice,” Davis said.

Speaking at the opening of the Legal Year on Jan. 9, acting Chief Justice Vera Watkins said the uncertainty of her post made it difficult to set an agenda for the year.

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