Submitted by CGID President Rickford Burke
I strongly condemn the decision of Guyana’s chief justice Ian Chang which enjoined Guyana’s DPP from charging police commissioner Henry Green with rape. The chief justice ruled that there was an insufficiency of evidence for the DPP to base her decision to prefer rape charges against Green.
From his ruling, one can reasonably presume that justice Chang believes the constitution also invests him with the powers of the DPP or that he thought he was actually trying the case. Neither is true!
I have never seen such misguided, irresponsible judicial over reach anywhere in the Commonwealth Jurisprudence. This decision is gravely repugnant to the constitution and has far reaching, deleterious effects on the criminal justice system, as it effectively alters the constitution.
Justice Chang’s aberrant ruling and judicial activistism also makes onerous the responsibilities of the DPP in all future criminal cases where, the Chief Justices ruling now establishes preponderances of the evidence as the standard to prefer charges rather than the legal standard of probable cause.
This decision reflects a further dismantling of the constitution by a series of injudicious and baseless rulings – all in the interest of the “good old boys club.”There is no question in my mind that justice Chang acted ultra vires the constitution. His decision must be reversed!
I know the chief justice and have enormous respect for his office. But I have lost confidence in his ability to be a fair and impartial chief justice who demonstrates unvarnished knowledge of as well as conformity to the constitution.