For decades, there have been concerns about the strength, effectiveness and efficiency of Guyana’s Judiciary and its ability to discharge its functions with the highest level of independence.These concerns have never disappeared despite the fact that there have been successful efforts, from all parties involved especially successive Governments, to modernize the functions of the judiciary, insulate its officers from political and other forms of interference, and professionalize its operations in line with the developments taking place in the wider world with respect to the advancement in technologies and the shifting social world order.The modernisation of the judiciary has also been impacted by alternative interpretations of certain religious beliefs and the shift in cultural norms and traditions which are redefining criminality, humanity and the concepts of moral and social justice which are the bedrock and foundation of modern democratic societies and independent judiciaries, the world over.In Guyana’s case, the judiciary plays the most important role as the defender of the public’s interest and the custodian of the Constitution. The framers of this country’s codified and supreme laws ensured that enough provisions were made to safeguard the judiciary from the whims and fancies of politicians and the influence of the wealthy.All Guyanese are, therefore, equal before the law and deserving of equity and fairness whenever they are the subject of judicial action regardless of their race, sexual orientation to a limited extent, creed or religion beliefs.Our judicial officers at every level of the Judiciary are schooled, baptized and re-cultured to understand the importance of the role they play in safeguarding the rights of the ordinary citizens from the excesses of the powerful. They are also encouraged to reject any inducement or attempt to interfere with the dispatch of their duties because of the sensitive and untenable position in which it places the judiciary and the reputation of those who serve within its hierarchy.The Judiciary at home and abroad knows too well that it has a commitment to discipline those who seek to unjustly malign its character, image or reputation by even suggesting that it is somehow compromised or incapable of delivering independent judgment free from interference unless evidence and facts could be provided.It is in this context that the recent statements made by senior functionaries in the coalition Government about the perceived outcome of the Sovereignty of the People Case, the charges brought against former Government Ministers of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic Administration, and a slew of other private charges filed against opposition politicians must be analyzed and contextualized.The utterances are worrying because they paint the picture that the current Government and executive has some perceived or real power or even influence over how the court is handling these specific matters.The fact that Ministers of Government believe that they can make statements which suggest that they have inside “information” undermines the integrity of the decision in the minds of some even if it was arrived at within the confines of reasonable law and jurisprudence.Even a blanket rebuke or caution from the local and regional courts would have eased the minds of an understandably worried populace who continue to fear that the Government may be exhorting undue influence over not only supposedly state-owned independent agencies like the Special Organised Unit, and Special Assets Recovery Agency et al but now the sections of the judiciary, constitutional judicial offices like that of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Caribbean Court of Justice.The judiciary here must not allow ‘loose statements’ made by politicians or any citizen publicly to go unchallenged within Guyana’s fragile democracy because of the concomitant implications that may follow if the public loses confidence in its ability to discharge its functions without duress or partisanship.There must be a clear line drawn between the executive and the judiciary.
0Shares0000LONDON, England November 30 – Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday blasted the controversy surrounding world champion Sebastian Vettel’s Brazilian Grand Prix overtaking manoeuvre as a “joke”.Ferrari had contacted Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, concerning the move by the Red Bull driver during last weekend’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix that won him a third successive title. There had been speculation that the manoeuvre could have been illegal and, if so, Vettel could have been sanctioned and thereby stripped of his title in favour of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who missed out on the championship by just three points.But Formula One ringmaster Ecclestone said it was a shame that the climax to the season had been overshadowed by the row.“It’s a shame because everything had gone so well,” he told the Daily Telegraph.“It was a super race, a super championship. Now everyone is talking about this. The problem is that no-one knows what is going on.”Earlier Thursday, the respected Autosport magazine said there was “no doubt” at the FIA that Vettel had overtaken legitimately on lap four of the race because a green flag had already been displayed in the yellow flag sector, allowing drivers to resume passing.No team had asked for a review of the incident, it added.“In the rules and regs normally you have to protest,” added Ecclestone.“They (Ferrari) missed that time. Then there is the fact that a green flag was shown, which nobody seems to dispute. It’s a complete joke. What they are saying in that letter is wrong. I don’t think there needs to be any action taken. It’s completely and utterly wrong.”On Wednesday, footage emerged on YouTube which appeared to show Vettel, the youngest triple world champion in history, overtaking Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne under yellow flags.Overtaking under caution is outlawed and is usually punished with a drive-through penalty.But in cases where the infringement is not spotted, the sanction is a 20-second penalty handed out retrospectively.Vettel was sixth in Sunday’s rain-lashed race, while double world champion Alonso was second behind McLaren’s Jenson Button.Ferrari said they had wanted the FIA to clarify the rules.“Ferrari asked, by means of a letter, for a clarification from FIA regarding VET’s (Vettel’s) overtaking move on VER (Vergne) during lap 4 of the Brazilian GP,” the Italian team said on its Twitter account @insideferrari.Vettel’s victory had already been overshadowed by claims from Ferrari that Alonso should have been crowned champion, pointing to controversial races in Belgium and Japan to support their argument.Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said that Alonso paid a heavy price for first lap exits in Belgium and Japan where he was shunted out of contention by Lotus duo Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen respectively.The Italian giants had been further aggrieved when Vettel, accused of blocking Alonso in qualifying in Japan before going on to win the race, escaped with just a reprimand.Vettel refused to get involved in a war of words although he did allude to his rivals’ controversial decision in Texas to change the gearbox on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari in order to allow Alonso to enjoy a starting advantage on the grid.“A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks but we did not get distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end,” Vettel said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
He told us: “I have been following this story on donegaldaily.com since the website broke the story.“I am sure most people have declared monies to the Revenue but sadly we have seen people in similar positions neglecting to face reality and when they are subsequently Revenue Audited – which is inevitable in a scheme of this magnitude and profile.“Not only will the Revenue authorities seek to have the original tax charge collected, but they will also seek to impose punitive interest rates for late payment of taxes, and they may also seek to impose a penalty which could be as high as 100% of the tax due. “We have seen in the past that tax liabilities of as low as €10,000, if left unpaid, could rocket to €80,000 or €90,000 once interest and penalties have been levied.“Naturally, this is a stressful time for the investors involved, but the Revenue have always treated taxpayers more leniently when tax irregularities are volunteered in a timely fashion. We would urge all taxpayers to please take this on board – we cannot stress this highly enough. “Living with the stress, anxiety and pressure of hidden irregularities can be severally detrimental to the health of those involved, and no one wants to see anyone suffering in this way.“Sadly we have seen this all too often in recent times, and people can suffer real anxiety and depression as a result. We do not want to see this happening to anyone.”Mr Doherty has urged anyone who may feel they have tax exposures or tax irregularities to contact him directly and he has confirmed that he will deal with all contacts in complete confidence. All Niall’s contact details are available on www.nialldohertytaxconsultants.ieFRANCOIS INVESTIGATION: ‘DON’T HIDE FROM TAXMAN,’ SAYS EXPERT was last modified: January 22nd, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) A DONEGAL tax consultant has urged some investors in Etic Solutions to take expert advice and come clean with the Revenue if they haven’t already.Letterkenny-based Niall Doherty was commenting after the latest revelations regarding the Ballybofey company and its boss Francois de Dietrich.Mr Doherty expressed genuine concern in relation to the tax, financial and health implications for investors in the scheme, and he was eager to voice sympathy with those who may have invested relatively large amounts of money in good faith. However he has urged anyone involved who may feel that they have tax exposures as a result of either placing untaxed money in the scheme, or as a result of having taken the proceeds from the scheme and failed to tax them, to seek expert professional tax advice from a Registered Tax Consultant as a matter of urgency.