“The actions of the [Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago] are serving to further undermine confidence in the very institution it claims to be seeking to protect. Any success realised will set a bad and extremely dangerous precedent.”
Fixin’ T&T slams the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) for its perceived call for Chief Justice Ivor Archie to resign and urges Archie to stand firm in the following release:
FIXIN’ T&T implores Chief Justice (CJ) Ivor Archie to robustly resist ongoing attempts by the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) to force his demitting of office in the absence of a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into recent elevations to the High Court.
The LATT, it can be argued, has been a tool of specific political interests for quite some time. FIXIN’ T&T deems this painfully flawed effort by the LATT in this imbroglio to be highly irresponsible and currently the single greatest threat to our Administration of Justice.
The actions of the LATT are serving to further undermine confidence in the very institution it claims to be seeking to protect. Any success realised will set a bad and extremely dangerous precedent.
FIXIN’ T&T commends Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s handling of misguided calls for his—the Prime Minister’s—intervention by quite correctly referring to the clarity provided by our Constitution on the removal of a sitting CJ.
FIXIN’ T&T holds absolutely no brief for CJ Ivor Archie. In our view, he has done very little to influence the desperately needed transformation of our Judiciary. For that reason, we have publicly asserted our position that as a CEO in the private sector he would have been fired a long time ago.
That said, while the CJ is a CEO, the Judiciary is not a corporation. It is true that our Judiciary, under CJ Archie’s watch, was recently brought into ridicule and disrepute.
FIXIN’ T&T publicly denounced the CJ’s high handed, dismissive and arrogant response to this spectacle; a very offensive and despicable strategy employed by servants to the public who hold high office.
We would have expected the CJ to acknowledge the national outcry on the gravity of the situation and recommend a thorough, independent and transparent investigation.
That also would have been our expectation of a responsible LATT. Even with the full appreciation that ethics must transcend legality, the approach by the LATT and some ‘legal luminaries’ thus far, seems void of respect for and adherence to due process and the laws of natural justice.
The ‘watershed’ moment in this scenario, as described in some quarters, is not the vote taken by the LATT last week. Rather, it is the opportunity that this and other events of the past month have presented to:
- Honestly examine and assess the state of our Judiciary using history as a guide;
- Revise the methodology employed in the selection of a CJ to include the involvement of our Parliament;
- Revise the methodology employed in the selection of Judges to include the involvement of our Parliament;
- Identify and fix the systemic deficiencies in our Administration of Justice;
- Strengthen the independence of the Judiciary;
- Review the role of the CJ as the Chairman of the Judicial Legal and Services Commission;
- Examine our Constitution to determine if the guidelines for removing office holders like the CJ and the President of the Republic should be revised.
FIXIN’ T&T deems as imperative, the need to have systemic checks and balances for the highest of public office holders effectively implemented. That the President of our Republic, the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice seem accountable to no person nor entity only redounds to the detriment of our Trinidad and Tobago.
FIXIN’ T&T urges the LATT et al to avoid the path of least resistance, exercise constraint and the discipline required to effectively treat with this delicate and complicated matter.