Jairam new Law Assn head
By JADA LOUTOO Saturday, June 30 2012
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MR PRESIDENT: Seenath Jairam SC on his way to the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain yesterday where he was later elected president of the Law Association...
ATTORNEYS across the country yesterday voted in a new president in a hotly contested
election for a new council of the Law Association. After ballots were counted, Seenath Jairam SC, emerged victorious with a total of 138 votes.
Jairam, called to the local Bar in 1977, went up against Israel Khan SC who
received a total of 86 votes and Stanley Marcus SC, who received 113 votes, for the
presidency. Patricia Dindyal will serve as vice-president of the council for the new term.
Voting took place at the Convocation Hall of the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain.
Jairam later said he was very grateful to his colleagues for their confidence in him adding he wants to see an all-inclusive association.
Of yesterday’s election process, Jairam said voter turnout was very large, despite the fact that scores of legal officers would not have cast their ballots following a ruling by the court that State attorneys and Judicial Research Assistants could not vote at a general meeting or at an election of members of Council of the Law Association, nor can they be elected to council — unless their annual subscription fees are paid. Jairam admitted that situation troubled him.
“ I know in different countries the practice generally is that legal officers are exempted. They provide a service to the country and I would like to discuss with the members to bring them into the organisation,” he said.
A new system implemented which saw attorneys voting simultaneously in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and Tobago went well according to several attorneys. On the recent controversy involving the discovery of missing funds from the body’s coffers, Jairam said it appeared that the association’s members has put that behind them.
As the council’s new president he intends to enforce rigid control and ensure all funds
are accounted for. “I am encouraged that proper systems have already been put in place to ensure that there are no further incidents,” he said.
A statement of the council of the Law Association to its membership on the association’s
accounts for the financial year ending January 31, 2012 has revealed huge sums drawn on the
association’s account and compensation fund could not be accounted for. The matter has been referred to the Fraud Squad for investigation.
Jairam believes the Law Association has an important role to play in any country and can
serve as a model which politicians can emulate. High among his plans for the association will be to make representation to Chief Justice Ivor Archie to improve the relationship between the Bench and the Bar and working with the Judiciary and the Executive, the Service Commissions and the Salary Review Commission to improve terms and conditions of service for legal officers.
Khan, an outspoken senior criminal attorney, said he will continue to speak out on issues affecting not only the legal profession but the national community. Marcus said he believes yesterday’s elections were conducted fairly and democratically.
Up to press time, ballots were still being counted for the post of Treasurer, Senior Ordinary
Members and Junior Ordinary Members.