The statement issued on Tuesday by the JLSC is little more than a confession that it failed to do independent due diligence of its own and was duped as a consequence.
This is obvious from the core defence of the JLSC that: Reasonable due diligence is satisfied by seeking an assurance that the appointee has done all that is required with respect to his/ her professional obligations to put themselves in readiness to assume duty.
The statement tellingly reveals that after protest at the appointment of Mrs Marcia Ayers-Caesar, the JLSC then belatedly had an audit conducted of “the true state of affairs.”
Simply described, the JLSC put the cart before the horse when it appointed Mrs Ayers-Caesar before having such an audit done.
As I have always maintained how could the JLSC have sought to restore someone who allegedly duped it to the Magisterial bench?
Apparently the JLSC has now seen the light in this regard but there are still outstanding matters on which they must account with respect to that decision. See questions below.
Notably in this regard, the JLSC’s statement evades the issues that arose out of such a decision. These are set out in the questions my colleagues and I prepared under the heading Restoration. These questions are:
On the“ Restoration”
- a) Firstly, did Mrs Ayers-Caesar resign as Chief Magistrate when she was appointed a Judge? b) If not, how was her employment in the Magistracy determined? c) Is there any documentation recording the termination of her employment in the Magistracy? d) Did the JLSC meet to consider Mrs Ayers-Caesar’s re-appointment? If so when and who was present?
- What is the legal basis or framework upon which the JLSC acted in effecting such “restoration” or “return” to the Magistracy?
- Has Mrs Ayers-Caesar been restored as Chief Magistrate or as an ordinary Magistrate?
- If as Chief Magistrate did the JLSC give any consideration to the legitimate expectations of other Magistrates who are in line for promotion?
- Was the position to which she was appointed advertised? Did Mrs Ayers-Caesar apply? Was she interviewed?
- Having regard to the admission in her letter of resignation (as reported in the Press) that she failed to make full disclosure to the JLSC in relation to her part- heard matters—to the extent that this may reflect on her honesty or integrity—did the JLSC give any consideration as to how this would impact on the issue of fitness for office and public confidence in the administration of justice?
- Was any promise or inducement made to Mrs Ayers-Caesar that once she concluded her part-heard matters at the magisterial level she would once again be re-appointed to the High Court? If not, what is to be her position upon the conclusion of those matters?
It is time for these members to do the honourable thing on account of their grievous failures and their initial attempt to bully right thinking persons into silence.
Editor’s Note: At present, the members of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission are as follows:
(Chairman) The Honourable the Chief Justice Mr Ivor Archie (ex-officio member);
(Members) Dr Marjorie Thorpe, Chairman of the Public Services Commission (ex-officio member); Justice Roger Hamel-Smith; Justice Humphrey Stollmeyer.