Bahamas Bar Association (BBA) President Kahlil Parker on Wednesday called for a transparent and merit-based selection process for judicial officers.
He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the official opening of the legal year.
Parker said, “The pathway to the bench and senior legal office in this country must be meritocratic, straight and narrow, and it must also be transparent and accessible to all.
“There are members of the bar and bench qualified and ready to serve their country and all they want for is a reasonable and fair opportunity to be considered.”
Parker also insisted on this standard for the appointment of Queen’s Counsel (QC) and the appointment and promotion of all judges and judicial and legal officers.
He said, “This must include the reasonable and public advertisement of vacant posts, a clear and detailed application process and meaningful consideration of applications and consultation with the Bar with respect thereto.”
Parker also welcomed the substantive appointment of Brian Moree, QC, as chief justice, “as the leadership of our judiciary had endured far too much uncertainty for far too long”.
The past two ceremonies to mark the opening of the legal year were presided over by acting chief justices.
Parker said, “We are relying on you to stand with the Bar as we seek to entrench transparency, meritocracy and due process in the operation of the courts, the appointment and promotion of judges, magistrates and all other judicial officers, as well as the appointment and promotion of senior legal officers.”
Parker said that members of the Bar were waiting for consideration of long-standing applicants to be appointed Queen’s Counsel.