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Bar Association denounces recent attacks on judiciary

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The Executive of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association has denounced attacks made on the judiciary in the wake of the December 9, 2015 general elections.

In a release issued on Wednesday, the Bar Association said “while respect must be accorded to freedom of speech and one is free to express one’s opinion on politics, the statements and allegations which have been made against our judiciary leave much to be desired.{{more}}

“The imputations go to the very root of the Rule of Law, and the Separation of Powers, the very independence which the judiciary has always enjoyed as a facet of our democratic and sovereign nation.

“The system is such that resident in its very structure are mechanisms for the challenge of a decision of the judiciary with reaches as far as the Privy Council. The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association urges all who are aggrieved especially officers of the court to employ those channels for the ventilation of any grievance be it actual or perceived.

“The public attack on the judiciary, the manner and the associated invective are not only unbecoming but seek to call our time honoured system of governance into disrepute.

“Our system of justice is bolstered by public confidence, the attacks serve to undermine that public confidence in the judiciary. We must resist those efforts at all costs; the alternative is to promote and engender a lawless society where dissatisfaction with a decision leads to chaos and anarchy. We are to be guided and governed not only by legislation and rules but also by acceptable codes of conduct.

“The executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association stands firrn that the members of the bernch who are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission under the aegis and auspices of the Chief Justice, serve with integrity, and without fear or favour.

“The SVGBA asks that the judiciary be accorded due respect for their decisions sans vilification,” the release said.

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