OBA Leader On New Chief Justice Appointment

April 25, 2018 | 18 Comments

Governor John Rankin today [April 25] announced the appointment of Mr Narinder Hargun as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, from 14 July 2018.

Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden tonight said, “I welcome the decision by His Excellency the Governor to accept the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Committee to name Narinder Hargun as Bermuda’s next Chief Justice. Mr Hargun is one of Bermuda’s preeminent jurists and brings a wealth of litigation and judicial experience to the post.

“I am also disappointed by the openly political opposition of the Premier to the appointment of such a respected and qualified Bermudian member of the Bar. Mr Hargun was appointed following a thorough, transparent and public competition run by the Committee, which comprises a number of notable Bermudians and prominent international legal minds.

“Like the Premier, I was consulted by the Governor in respect of Mr Hargun’s appointment, and I agreed with the recommendation of the Committee. The Committee was set up in order to bring transparency to the judicial appointment process, and to de-politicize what should be an apolitical role.

“For the Premier to make this a political football is irresponsible to the extreme. A mature democracy is governed by the separation of powers and the rule of law. An independent judiciary is key to upholding these important values. Attacks such as the Premier’s are aimed at having a chilling effect. Thankfully, our judiciary is robust and will continue to take decisions without fear or favour – no matter who forms the Government.

“I wish Mr Hargun the best as he takes up this critically important position.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. I and I says:

    Whaa whaa, whaa whaa whaa whaa whaa !!! Sorry as I was reading all I heard was Charlie Brown’s teacher. Jeff Baron for opposition leader!

    • Sense says:

      Take your head out of your hatred and read the short and to the point message. Clearly you and Burt have some growing up to do.

      • JAWS says:

        MORE BS from the oba leader!!!!

        Jeanne Atherden, the Opposition leader, said Mr Baron’s resignation was “an opportunity to have some of the younger members get involved and get a seat in the House”.

        She added: “We have talked recently about getting more people to be candidates, so this ties into that quite well.”

        Mike spoke the truth….now compare the difference between a real leader and the fake woman above!!

        Michael Dunkley, the former Premier, said that he was “surprised and disappointed” by Mr Baron’s decision to quit.

        He added: “The sudden resignation with little notification to his colleagues brings to an end his short and promising political service.”

    • Rich says:

      That’s unfortunate. This is one of the better statements coming out from the Opposition Leader in recent months. And she didn’t wait days to make a peep.

      The key statement here is – ‘A mature democracy is governed by the separation of powers and the rule of law. An independent judiciary is key to upholding these important values.’

  2. Time Shall Tell says:

    Rather than just leaving it at the approval of the appointment. She proceeds to turn this announcement into a political football, all while accusing the premier of doing the same exact thing… Politricks, it’s a wacky affair. I hope the OBA have a better option in the works for leader or the political race on this island is going to be pretty one sided for some time to come.

  3. Wow says:

    OMG Jeanne you are the worst puppet ever, we see your strings being pulled from a mile away.

  4. Vote for Me says:

    It will be important for the Premier to more fully explain the Government’s opposition to the appointment of Mr. Hargun.

    Previously Bermuda supported Justice Wade in preference to Justice Ground on the principle that a qualified Bermudian should be appointed to the post. Therefore the objection was not personal to Justice Ground but the fact that a qualified Bermudian should not be overlooked.

    I trust that the same principle applies to the current objection, which will help to ensure a lack of bias for any matters that might be brought before the new Chief Justice on behalf of the Bermuda Government.

  5. Aware says:

    Well said. If due process was followed by an independent Committee, then the Premier demeans himself and his standing by objecting.

  6. Legalgal says:

    A sad day for the female legal cause…yet again.

  7. Former Union Member says:

    Ms. Atherden makes a reasoned and thoughtful reply. If only everyone could do so…whether in agreement or not. Regretfully our Premier could take some guidance on this point.

    • wahoo says:

      I wonder if the premier took guidance from some else who probably would prefer knowing the CJ.

  8. Realist says:

    The PLP leader needs to settle down and lead with integrity. He has an opportunity to show maturity and intelligence. He should have a strong mentor by his side as he will sink Bermuda and carry that legacy for ever.

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    Can’t people read!

    “We were elected to represent the people of Bermuda and to bring meaningful change to this country. The views we express are founded in the convincing mandate to govern which was given to us by an overwhelming majority of the people.

    “Every Bermudian should be concerned that this mandate can be ignored and discarded by a process that cannot be molded to reflect their will through the existing consultative process.”

    The “overwhelming majority of the people” want the Government of Bermuda to have the power to direct the judiciary to do as they are told, not administer justice the way the judiciary sees fit!

  10. yesitsme says:

    Something seems very strange and fishy here. “Like the Premier, I was consulted by the Governor in respect of Mr Hargun’s appointment, and I agreed with the recommendation of the Committee.” However, according to Section 73[3] of the Bermuda Constitution, “The Chief Justice shall be a person qualified for appointment under subsection [5] of this section and shall be appointed by the Governor, by instrument under the Public Seal, acting after consultation with the Premier who shall first have consulted the Opposition Leader.”

    But reading the above Ms Atherden says, ““Like the Premier, I was consulted by the Governor in respect of Mr Hargun’s appointment, and I agreed with the recommendation of the Committee.”

    Reading and knowing that, I understand where the Premier is coming from when he says this is an affront to the elected government.

  11. Rocky5 says:

    Premier Burt is behaving just like President Trump!

  12. Coffee says:

    Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden , is indeed one entrenched colonial minded woman .. Can’t change the way she thinks . Never will . Sad . The OBA will go the way of Fayhe because of it … The times have leaped way ahead of her …The rules have changed , Even in America , the president gets to have a very strong influence on who gets judicial appointments .

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