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Monday 23 October 2017
Letters to the Editor

Attempts to derail due legal process harmful

THE EDITOR: The rule of law, its practice and implementation, is the bedrock of any democracy. I thought about this as I joined and enjoyed TT’s Independence Day celebrations last week. Not least given the other issue which dominated much of the news at the end of the week.

As British High Commissioner it’s not for me to get involved in domestic politics. But I do see room for an international perspective on the issues raised, from two angles.

First, your country’s democracy is derived from that of mine. So, how your democracy develops is inevitably part of our bilateral partnership and why I keep a supportive and watchful eye.

While enjoying the well-organised celebration of 55 years of independence from Britain, I also thought again how interdependent our lives are, nonetheless, in this globalised world. Simply put, this means what happens here matters in Britain, the Commonwealth and wider.

Democracy means society has a right to expect that no one is above the law. That all, whatever their position, should be held accountable in a timely way.

Or else the cancer of corruption spreads. At the same time, in our democracies any citizen should feel confident of a fair trial, innocent until proved guilty, with a judgment based on the facts and the application of the rule of law.

In this interdependent world a determined effort to hold all to account and to implement the rule of law raises the international standing of a country. That means more trust and agreements, more trade and investment, more prosperity for all. Successful attempts to distract or derail the due legal process with claims of bias do the opposite.

Some may accuse me of naivety, that I simply don’t understand how things work here. I return to my first point. TT has worked to sustain its democracy over the last 55 years. The rule of law, its practice and implementation, is the bedrock of any democracy. It’s only right — particularly as this country once again celebrates its independence — that the citizens of this country demand, foster and treasure this essential democratic principle.

TIM STEW

via email

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