Former president of the Law Association of T&T (LATT) Martin Daly SC says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must put aside petulance after he was advised to re-examine the material before him involving Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
Daly said the PM must “look at it without any narrow political perspective” and reconsider it with an open mind.
Daly’s comments came hours after Rowley was ordered to reconsider his decision to reject LATT’s call to impeach Archie.
High Court Judge Vasheist Kokaram made the order as he partially upheld the LATT’s legal challenge against Rowley’s decision.
Kokaram ruled that Rowley made an error by concluding that the association’s investigation into misconduct allegations levelled against Archie was influenced by the Opposition.
Speaking on the Morning Brew yesterday, Daly said it was a “very important vindication of the independent thought and action in our country.”
He said the only reason why the judge went against the prime minister’s decision not to proceed against the chief justice under Section 137 “is that he perceived there was some political plot and some link between the Law Association and the Opposition.”
Daly said it was wrong to say that those who felt there was a problem with the CJ could not think for themselves and “we were at the hand of puppeteers with the Opposition.”
Daly viewed this as offensive.
“I personally take great exception being told that I am in the hands of puppeteers. I was out in the front of this issue for a very long time. I have my own reservation about how the Law Association does things. The fact is they have done this country a very great service…a great personal cost to the actors in this which everybody in the political field is trying to tarnish.”
No one, Daly said can compel the PM to do what LATT wants which is to trigger 137.
Daly said in essence, Kokaram advised Rowley to go back to all the material before him and “look at it without any narrow political persepctive” and reconsider it with an open mind.
He said Rowley must put aside any inklings of petulance.
Daly said hopefully Rowley will rise to the occasion and sensibly “consider the fact that not one of these pieces of litigation brought by the Law Association has anything but being successful on the part of the Law Association.”
Daly described the matter as a serious public issue. He added Kokaram was right to say that there are no winners or losers “except the country, of course. The longer this goes on and the longer the chief justice is shielded from proper accountability the worst it is for the reputation of the judiciary.”
Daly said few individuals have the “belly” to speak frankly to authority.
“So the problem is not going to go away. It must be dealt with maturely.”
With the matter back in the hands of the PM, Daly said Rowley has to think things over and give a decision “with reasons. He can’t just dock out of it by saying it is a UNC plot. He can’t dismiss it as a narrow political issue.”
Daly said we must have some mechanism where complaints against the CJ can be resolved.