24th July 2020

For the third time this month, we are moved to once again speak, as we have previously done condemning attacks on the judiciary, attorneys-at-law and generally, persons in the lawful exercise of their profession and duties.

Over the past four months, judges presiding over matters touching and concerning the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections have been subjected to distasteful unrelenting personal and other attacks which not only bring them into odium but also serve the undesired result of undermining public confidence in our judicial system.

The Bar Association once again condemns the recent inflammatory, malicious and racially charged statements, made over the past two days, through various forms of media, targeted again at the Court of Appeal in yet another pending election matter. The Guyana Bar denounces and objects to any member of the judiciary being subjected to scurrilous, disrespectful, racial and indecent attacks, which do or have the tendency to scandalize or lower the authority of any court. All such actions which interfere with the due course of any judicial proceedings or obstruct the administration of justice in any other manner must be condemned.

While the judiciary is not immune from public expressions of concern and criticism, such right is not unfettered and must be exercised within the ambit of the law and governing legal principles; the breach of which could result in legal proceedings being instituted against such perpetrator(s) and where applicable punishable by imprisonment.

We wish to urge, advise and warn all persons to be cautious, exercise prudence, pragmatism and show due respect for the judiciary when making public statements thereon. We also call on all political leaders to assuage and guide their supporters and members of the public in responsible appropriate conduct. The resounding silence in the face of these attacks from those who from time to time have asserted a leadership position in the statutory structure of our legal profession, is disappointing and regrettable.

“Stand up for something or fall for anything”. We must all stand together in the face of the current attacks against a sitting Judge in a pending matter in the Court of Appeal of Guyana which have plunged our society further into unimaginable lows.

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