Flashback 2017! A lawyer, Anil Nanldall successfully represented Carvil Duncan, who was then Chairman of the Civil Service Commission and a member of the Police Services Commission, the Judicial Services Commission and the Educational Services Commission after the President David Granger created a tribunal recommended by the Judicial Services Commission. This tribunal was chaired by Judge Roxane George to advise the president whether or not to remove Carvil Duncan from commissions because Duncan was in court on a criminal charge. Here is part of Anil Nandlall’s pleadings: “In short, the President has blatantly violated the letter, spirit and intent of some of the most sacrosanct constitutional proceedings and, indeed, his actions strike at the heart. the very heart of our constitutional democracy. Presidents (or prime ministers as the case may be) have been indicted for less in democratic countries. The words then applied to the actions of President David Granger. They are even more appropriate now for President Ali compared to the suspension letters he sent to current members of the Police Services Board. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Anil Nandlall can neither approve nor disapprove. Fraud is fraud.
Fast forward to May 2021! Prime Minister Mark Phillips has written to Paul Slowe, Chairman of the Policing Services Board and Member Clinton Conway, asking them to justify why they should not be removed from the PSC following a pending criminal charge against them. They both, through their lawyer, Selwyn Pieters, submitted lengthy responses to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister subsequently wrote to Paul Slowe, Michael Somersall, Vesta Adams, Claire Jarvis and Clinton Conway, all members of the PSC, asking them to justify why they should not be removed from the PSC. According to him, it was because they joined with others considered politicians and members of the Civil Service Commission and the Education Service Commission in challenging the government for denying them the possibility of control their own financial allocation and report to Parliament not the Ministry of Finance. This resulted from the refusal of the Ministry of Finance to allocate funds to the PSC to hire a lawyer to defend the PSC in the legal proceedings brought against the PSC by Snr. Superintendent Calvin Brutus. According to a decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Attorney General cannot represent autonomous bodies like the Police Services Commission. It should be noted that no member of the other Commissions was asked to justify himself. The target was the PSC and the PSC alone. This is a clear case of politics at stake and outright discrimination. The President and members, through their lawyer, Selwyn Pieters, responded adequately to the Prime Minister.
On June 15, 2021, all Commission members received letters from the President claiming that they were all suspended from the Commission with immediate effect. Their lawyer informed them that the President had flagrantly violated the Constitution and that the President’s action was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and had no effect. He also informed them that they should continue to exercise their functions until the expiration of their mandate in August 2021. The members carry out their functions. The lawyer addressed a letter to this effect to the President.
The Constitution is well protected. There are sacrosanct procedures that must be followed for a member of the PSC to be dismissed or suspended. In this case, Paul Slowe, the President, who is the prescribed authority, should notify the President of the removal or suspension of members. He did not do it. For Paul Slowe to be removed, the prime minister would have to notify the president. What happened is that the Prime Minister illegally informed the President that all members were to be suspended, which is a total violation of Article 225 of the Constitution. Using a wide brush to brush all the members of the PSC in one corner at the same time cannot work. The Prime Minister does not have the legal power to advise the President to suspend members of the Commission other than the President. The Prime Minister’s advice to the President was illegal. The president has acted. Therefore, the President’s subsequent action is totally illegal. The issue of suspension or revocation should be referred to a court to be recommended by the Judicial Services Commission.
There is no Judicial Commission. The last one expired in 2017. There is therefore no judicial commission or tribunal that the president can consult. Therefore, his decision to suspend members of the PSC is premature, illegal and unconstitutional. In addition, the Prime Minister asked members of the PSC to explain why they should not be dismissed and the President sent them letters of suspension. The Constitution is precise. Suspension and removal are two very different issues. They are very distant because Imbotero, which is at the northern tip of Guyana, comes from Gunns Strip, located deep south of Rupununi, and Orealla, to the east and hundreds of miles from Kaikan on the front. Where is.
I’ve seen Nandlall on social media disguise and propagate that the president is supreme. We live in Guyana and not in North Korea where the leader is supreme. Guyana’s Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the President or Mr. Know-It-All, Attorney General. They are not the law. They are the enforcers of the law. They are subordinate to the Constitution. The President is a creature of the Constitution.
There are consequences to follow in the event of a violation of the Constitution. In the Carvil Duncan case referred to above by his legal representative, Anil Nandlall said in oral argument: “Presidents and more, Prime Ministers, as the case may be, may have been indicted for much less in democratic countries ”. I don’t always agree with Anil Nandlall, but in this case he is obviously right.
We, the active members of the PSC, are not cowardly. We have called on our legal team to take urgent legal action to correct this sad state of affairs. We look forward to our day at court.
To God be the glory.
Deputy Police Commissioner