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Prime Minister urges newly minted temporary Magistrates to “be fair, effective and efficient”

Prime Minister Brigadier retired Mark Phillips flanked by the nine new Magistrates [Photo: Office of the Prime Minister/ February 20, 2024]

Nine new temporary Magistrates were sworn in before Prime Minister Brigadier retired Mark Phillips on Tuesday, with three hailing from the mining town of Linden.

The new appointees are Omadatt Chandan, Tamieka Clarke, Abigail Gibbs, Tuanna Hardy, Shivani Lalaram, Michelle Matthias, Ravindra Mohabir, Teriq Mohammed, and Orinthia Schmidt.

“I implore you, new Magistrates, to go out there, be fair, be effective, and be efficient,” the Prime Minister said while offering remarks after the Magistrates took their oath of office at his Camp Street Office in Georgetown.

Prime Minister Phillips emphasised the importance of objectivity and neutrality in the legal system, urging the newly appointed magistrates to prioritise these principles above all else.

He stressed that the role of an adjudicator should be devoid of any external influences, focusing solely on the evidence and the law at hand.

The swearing in ceremony, which was held at the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday [Photo: Office of the Prime Minister/ February 20. 2024]

Referring to the symbolic blindfold of Lady Justice, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for magistrates to adjudicate cases without bias or prejudice, ensuring that the identity of the individuals involved does not sway their decisions.

He further stressed the need for a more efficient legal system, stating that citizens often express dissatisfaction with its slow pace.

“I sincerely hope that this addition of nine newly minted temporary magistrates will complement our magistracy and will bring greater speed to the conclusion of the cases before our legal system,” he noted.

To this end, Phillips posited that the government continues to work with the judiciary by providing resources to ensure greater efficiency.

He referenced the various Magistrates’ Courts under construction and even the Judiciary piloted e-filling system. These new office holders will undergo a six-month probation period before confirmation.


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