Acting Chief Justice Given Full Role At Last

THE Cabinet Office yesterday confirmed Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs has been formally appointed to the substantive post after months of speculation.

The last substantive chief justice was Sir Hartman Longley, appointed in 2015. Stephen Isaacs was sworn in as acting chief justice last December.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told reporters his pick for the substantive post would be revealed “with time,” remaining tightlipped over an issue that has languished for months with heavy criticism from the legal community.

In April, he said he would not be forced to appoint a chief justice and neither was he concerned about losing political capital over it.

Bahamas Bar Association President Kahlil Parker has publicly castigated Dr Minnis over the issue.

In April, Mr Parker told The Nassau Guardian that Dr Minnis has a “tremendous misapprehension” of the constitutional provisions relating to the appointment of a chief justice, adding the prime minister did not appear to grasp firmly the Constitution as a whole.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court judge Vera Watkins was sworn in as acting chief Justice of the Supreme Court by Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling during a brief ceremony at Government House. This is a post she has filled various times in recent months.

To this, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said it was likely Chief Justice Isaacs was out of the country.

Yesterday, the Cabinet Office release read: “It is announced for general information that in accordance with Article 94 (1) of the Constitution of the Bahamas, the prime minister, Dr Hubert Minnis, after consultation with the leader of the opposition, advised Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, to appoint Justice Stephen Isaacs as chief justice of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas with effect from July 9.”


sheeprunner12 2 years, 6 months ago

Sigh ............ Glad we did not hold our breath


DaGoobs 2 years, 6 months ago

Hold our breath for what? Was there ever any doubt? Isaacs was assured of the appointment from the first day but on Minnis' time not the PLP dem time. As I said months ago when this issue first came up, much ado about nothing.


licks2 2 years, 6 months ago

YOU WILL SEE MORE DUMB COMMENTS THAN THIS AROUND HERE. . .EITHER THEY DON'T KNOW HOW THE PUBLIC SERVICES WORKS OR THEY ARE JUST PLAINLY "LOST IN THEIR OWN JUICE". For example, the DOE had an acting director for the last 14 months. . .and the replacement was sworn in as acting!!


Sickened 2 years, 6 months ago

Now, was that so hard Minnis??


joeblow 2 years, 6 months ago

What difference does it make when there are still not enough justices in the supreme court to improve the efficiency of the legal system. The other day a tourist was having her rape case heard after 4 YEARS! This is shameful!


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 6 months ago


The appointment of a chief justice should always be based on merit and not time served as a sitting judge with very little private practice experience. This is one post that demanded the appointment of 'la creme de la creme' of legal minds, even if it required appointing a non-Bahamian in the absence of any available Bahamian legal creme to choose from. The appointment of Isaacs simply defies the basic precept that creme should rise to the top.


CatIslandBoy 2 years, 6 months ago

This article is lacking in so many ways. Shouldn't we be treated a bio of the new Chief Justice. I would like to know more about his legal background, etc. The Tribune's reporting, in many instances, seem to be woefully lacking. Where are all the old journalists?


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