Attorneys for the Law Association of T&T (LATT) have told Chief Justice Ivor Archie’s attorneys he is not above the law and as with all public officials, is subject to public scrutiny. As such, contrary to the CJ’s position, the association, through its attorneys, says it is acting within its remit to “protect the interest of the legal profession in Trinidad and Tobago” by probing allegation against the CJ.
In an historic move, Chief Justice Ivor Archie has initiated legal action against the Law Association, saying it has no authority to investigate him, and has sought to block any further action by the association pending the outcome of High Court action.
But the association says the letter will not stop them from moving ahead and seeking advice on whether the allegations made against the CJ are enough to warrant the start of impeachment proceedings.
The committee appointed by the Law Association to investigate allegations against Chief Justice Ivor Archie will deliver its interim report this evening.
Contacted today, the association's president, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, who is also a member of the committee, indicated that he and the other members were meeting to prepare their report to be submitted to the association's council.
The committee members would wait until the rest of the council members are present at their monthly meeting next month to discuss the report.
Chief Justice Ivor Archie has replied to the president of the Law Association Douglas Mendes, seeking to clarify some aspects of the controversy that revolves around the appointment of Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar as a High Court judge.
The response came via a letter signed by the administrative secretary to the Chief Justice, Sherlanne Pierre.
The letter made it clear from the onset that the appointment of Supreme Court judges, is not the responsibility of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) but rather that of the President of the Republic.
The Law Association says it will seek to engage the Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General on a "workable solution" regarding the appointment of judges.
The Association notes that while the Constitution does not require public disclosure on the appointment of judges but says the relative secrecy involved has the potential to encourage suspicion.
The Association issued this statement today:
"The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to transparency and accountability in the selection and appointment of judges.