Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire this afternoon ruled that President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s appointment of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Chairman, Patrick Findlay, and members of the Integrity Commission was done constitutionally.
Although lawfully appointed, the Chief Justice, however, found that the PSC was not properly constituted because of the absence of a Chairman of the Public Service Commission which is yet to be reconstituted.
This ruling comes after Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton attempted to have the appointments quashed on the basis that the Head of State failed to engage him in the constitutionally required meaningful consultation.
He had also argued that the President did not give him sufficient reasons upon which the nominees for PSC and Integrity Commissions were made and subsequently appointed.
Norton had asked the court to quash the appointments, and for a declaration that all actions taken by the Commissions are null, void, and of no force and legal effect.
However, the Chief Justice, refused to quash the appointments of the constitutional commissions, noting that the constitutional and statutory regime was followed by the President in appointing the Chairmen and members.
The Chief Justice found that sufficient information on the nominees and reasons for their nomination were provided to Norton. In the circumstances, she held that there was procedural fairness, and that the consultation process between President Ali and Norton can be deemed sufficient, ruling that the appointments were constitutional and lawful.
Both the PSC and Integrity Commissions were appointed on May 31 last.
Representing Norton was Roysdale Forde, SC, and Attorney-at-Law Selwyn Pieters.