Marcia Ayers-Caesar will know her fate today.
Either Justice David Harris grants her leave to her to apply for judicial review of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC’s) to ask her to resign, or he dismisses her application. The State has challenged her lawsuit in which Ayers-Ceasar contended that the action of Chief Justice Ivor Archie and, ultimately, President Anthony Carmona were inconsistent with what was provided in the constitution for the removal of a judge of the High Court.
Today’s hearing will be heard via video conferencing because Harris is presiding in the Tobago Hall of Justice.
Ayers-Caesar, who was the former chief magistrate, had resigned her position and on April 12 and was presented with her instrument of appointment to take up her position as a judge. She presided in the San Fernando High Third Criminal Assizes but in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ court, prisoners, several of them on capital charges, complained loudly about their cases being part-heard and the frustration of facing a new trial by Ayers-Caesar’s departure.
Further investigations by the JLSC revealed that Ayers-Caesar had a number of outstanding cases which, it alleged, represented a mark distinction from the number she had submitted to the commission. Days after, Archie advised Carmona to revoke her appointment.
Last month, Harris heard a judicial review application in which former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, presented Ayers-Caesar’s case which he based primarily on Section 137 of the constitution. It dealt with the process for the removal of a High Court judge. Maharaj submitted that the section gave constitutional guarantee to judicial officers against their removal from office except by the procedures provided. He said that if she had not resigned, the JLSC would have removed her from office.
Senior Counsel Martin Daly who represented the Attorney General, as well as attorneys for the JLSC and the office of the president, provided legal submissions to the judge in reply to Maharaj.