THE EDITOR: For some time now it has occurred to me that there can be a fairly easy solution to the apparently intractable problem in the Marcia Ayers-Caesar matter. The major issue here is how to have the 53 part-heard cases attended to as soon as possible, bearing in mind that to have these cases lingering will be a grave injustice to the accused people.
I am aware that this matter is sub judice. This does not mean it cannot be discussed but that any public discussion must not be intended to influence the court in its decision. In any event, it has long been understood that this would normally apply to a jury trial, but hardly to a judge in a civil case.
The solution I see is based on the following premises:
1. Ayers-Caesar has already been approved by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) to be a judge. This decision has been made and communicated to Ayers-Caesar and publicised.
2. Ayers-Caesar has spent many years in the Judiciary as a magistrate, then a senior magistrate, then Deputy Chief Magistrate and then Chief Magistrate. She has rendered long distinguished service. As the former Chief Magistrate, she has had to adjudicate in very complex, high-profile criminal matters which involve intricate questions of law and evidence. There is no doubt she is deserving of the appointment as a judge.
3. At the time when Ayers-Caesar was approved as a judge by the JLSC, she had 53 part-heard matters. Some very grave misunderstanding took place at that juncture for her to be sworn in as a judge while these 53 cases were pending. Members of the JLSC and Ayers-Caesar would know that it would be improper to be sworn in as a judge even if there was only one part-heard matter pending. This would be unjust to that one person far more for the 53. Ayers-Caesar would know that, come what may, she has to finish these 53 cases.
4. On the completion of the 53 part-heard cases, Ayers-Caesar would be resworn-in as a judge, since she has already been approved by the JLSC, and take up her responsibilities in the High Court.
5. There would be all kinds of rules and regulatory hurdles in adopting the above procedures, which can be overcome. We must all bear in mind that the law is there to serve man and not the other way around.
6. The JLSC comprised very honourable people, all with the utmost integrity, as is Ayers-Caesar. There appeared to be a terrible mix-up with respect to the disclosure of the 53 part-heard cases. What actually happened should be investigated as a guide to future decisions. There appeared to be a terrible misunderstanding, but certainly not on the part of anyone.
7. The solution to this matter involves all the heads of the various arms of the State, the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice and, of course, Ayers-Caesar. The Prime Minister is the head of the Government (the CEO/managing director of corporate TT) which includes the Judiciary. There can be no so-called “separation of powers” here when the entire Government is affected.
So, PM Dr Keith Rowley, take the initiative as you did with the port in appointing Christian Mouttet to investigate. Convene a meeting of all the above mentioned parties and solve this problem which appeared to have arisen from a terrible mistake which can be solved easily.
Prior to the swearing in of Ayers-Caesar, there had been no mala fides by any of the above mentioned parties. Whatever happened post swearing-in is of no relevance. So, Rowley, be revolutionary. Take that bold step and solve this problem, which in its present form is a huge embarrassment to TT.
LENNOX SANKERSINGH via e-mail