Neither GG nor Derrick formally informed of appeals board appointment

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By Carl Joseph

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda announced, through a release on Wednesday, the appointment of former United Progressive Party (UPP) senator and minister of justice, Colin Derrick, as chairman of the Public Service Board of Appeal.

But this announcement may have been premature, as neither Derrick nor Governor General Sir Rodney Williams had been made aware of the Cabinet’s intention through written correspondence.

“They had asked if I would be interested in the post and I did indicate that I’d be willing to take up the post given my background, but nothing in writing advising me that I was given the position,” Derrick told OBSERVER media yesterday.

The release stated that the Cabinet “ratified a decision to appoint” Derrick and that this appointment “takes effect immediately”.

The release made no mention, however, as to whether this appointment was made by the Governor General as is stipulated in section 106 (1)(a), which states: “There shall be a Public Service Board of Appeal for Antigua and Barbuda (in this Part referred to as the Board) which shall consist of a chairman appointed by the Governor-General acting in his discretion.”

Speaking at Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Cabinet spokesman, Minister Melford Nicholas addressed Sir Rodney’s non-involvement at this point by saying, “the recommendation is from the Cabinet… and it will be consented to [by the Governor General] ultimately.”

Section 108 of the Constitution outlines the purpose of the board as being to “affirm or set aside the decision appealed against or make any other decision which the authority or person from which the appeal lies could have made.”

Derrick’s ultimate appointment came as a start of “refreshment” of the entire board according to Nicholas.

Derrick was not the first choice for the post, according to the Cabinet release. He replaces recently appointed attorney John Fuller who has subsequently been unable to carry out the duties of chairman, due to illness.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am.at a lost. The constitution states that the appointment shall be made by the GG acting in his own discretion. How can a recommendation to the GG for his ratification be acting in his own discretion? Something doesn’t sound right. Where is the discretion being exercised when the GG is simply understanding a decision taken by the cabinet? The system is really messed up

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