April 21 deadline for attorneys to apply for the ‘silk’

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April 21 deadline for attorneys to apply for the ‘silk’

Attorney General, Reginald Armour, SC has advised that attorneys who wish to be considered for appointment as senior counsel to submit applications to his office by Friday.

In a notice gazetted on April 14, Armour advised the appointment will be pursuant to the 1964 legal notice which sets out the procedure for appointing senior counsel, or silk.

The notice says applicants must have professional eminence and distinction which establishes them as leaders of the profession; sound intellectual ability; a thorough, comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of law and practice in the fields in which they practise; and outstanding ability as an advocate in the higher courts.

Applicants are also required to have the highest professional standing, having gained the respect of the bench and profession in observing the advocate’s duty to the court and the administration of justice while presenting their clients’ case and being formidable, fair and honorable as an opponent.

The notice also said applicants must have total professional integrity; maturity of judgment and balance; and a high-quality practice with at least ten years’ experience and based on demanding cases which allow the full measure of the preceding qualities to be demonstrated.

The manner of the appointment of senior counsel is being challenged by Senior Counsel Israel Khan, who says the 1964 notice is irrelevant. Khan’s position is that the President, in appointing senior counsel, should not do so on the advice of the Cabinet, a minister or the prime minister.

Instead, he says the President should make such appointments in her own discretion or on the advice of anyone, or authority, other than the Cabinet, including the Chief Justice.