Georgetown, Guyana – (January 17, 2018) President David Granger, today, reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to ensuring that the judicial system remains independent as he swore in Human Rights Activist and Attorney-at-law, Dr. Christopher Arif Bulkan as the new Justice of the Court of Appeal.

In his address at the ceremony, which saw attendance from a number of distinguished guests including Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chief Justice (Ag.) Justice Roxane George- Wiltshire and Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan, the President said that Guyana is a law-based state, where enforcement of the law and the efficient and timely dispensation of justice by the Courts are the fundamental bases. In this regard, the Head of State said that the Judiciary is the vital organ in the preservation of our system of law and order.

“An efficient and independent judiciary ensures that citizens have access to justice and that this access is fair and swift. A full complement of judges, magistrates and legal offices promotes judicial efficiency and public confidence in the rule of law. This ceremony witnesses the appointment of an eminent Guyanese as an acting Justice of the Court of Appeal. This ceremony is provided for in the Constitution of Guyana, the supreme law of the land, which at Article 128 (1) provides that “Judges, other than the Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President who shall act in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC)”. Nothing could be clearer. This ceremony is an affirmation of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the judicial system remains independent,” President Granger said.

In 2017, Dr. Bulkan was nominated by the Cabinet to represent Guyana on the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC). He is a former lecturer at the University of the West Indies with specialisations in Public Law, Constitutional Law, Caribbean Human Rights Law, and International Human Rights Law.

In an invited comment, Dr. Bulkan said that he is pleased with the appointment and looks forward to working with all stakeholders to address the backlog of cases, which currently plagues the judicial system.

The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams and members of the Judicial Services Commission, which is responsible for making the recommendation to the President.

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