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Tuesday 18 September 2018
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Another judge calls on CJ to quit

JADA LOUTOO

ANOTHER High Court judge is calling for the resignation of Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

Justice Frank Seepersad says he is “now at a place where, without reservation” he must urge Archie to put the institution first and resign.

Describing the turmoil in the Judiciary as dysfunctional, Seepersad also took issue with Archie taking a six-month sabbatical to rest, reflect and study.

He applied for the leave in November. It was granted by the President, but there are now questions about the President’s authority to do so.

In his e-mail, Seepersad said, “I have great difficulty in accepting that a sabbatical should serve as a period for rest and reflection. It is objectionable that any judge should describe the privilege and honour associated with judicial service as ‘onerous.’

“Very significant allegations have been levied at the Chief Justice and, while I readily acknowledge the fact that the veracity of the numerous allegations has not been established, leadership roles in general, and judicial office in particular, mandate that we should endeavour to conduct our personal lives in a manner that is beyond reproach.”

On Wednesday, outspoken judge Carol Gobin again called for Archie’s resignation. As she vented on the plan by the CJ to go on the six-month sabbatical from Sunday, Gobin said she welcomed his departure but that he should not “step back,” but step down.

In another e-mail exchange with judges, Seepersad said in the six years he has been on the bench, “the institutional dysfunction has been alarming.”

“The Chief Justice’s unilateral grant of sabbatical leave unto himself, at taxpayers’ expense amounts to an egregious abuse of office. I am certain that the additional responsibilities associated with the office of Chief Justice are significant but if the office holder can no longer effectively discharge same, then it is time to graciously exit the position.”

Sources said other than Gobin and Seepersad, several other judges are also against Archie’s sabbatical leave and his conduct.

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