Law Association appeal on CJ deemed urgent

THE TT Law Association of TT (LATT) has succeeded in obtaining an urgent appeal of a judge’s decision which has prevented it from continuing investigations into allegations of misconduct against Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

Justice Prakash Moosai, in a ruling delivered yesterday, agreed to have the appeal of the association treated expeditiously.

The Appeal will be heard on April 10.

As such, it is expected that the association's council will postpone its special general meeting, set for Thursday, in which a report on the investigation conducted by a sub-committee of council and advice on it from Dr Francis Alexis, QC, of Grenada and Eamon Courtenay, QC, of Belize, were expected to be presented for consideration.

The association filed its appeal of Kangaloo’s ruling on Thursday. Nine grounds of appeal have been filed against the judge’s decision that the action of the association was unlawful.

The association also contends Kangaloo erred in law in purporting to take judicial notice of statement of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

The association also contends that the judge erred when she found that Section 137 was effective to restrict it from informing itself, by way of investigation, of the basis for the allegations against the CJ and how it should proceed, including whether a complaint should be made to the prime minister.

The association contends that the refusal of the Prime Minister or the Judicial and Legal Service Commission to engage the Section 137 process was reviewable by the court “and that this right of review would be debased unless members of the public were able to establish that any such refusal was unlawful.

The judge was also faulted for not appreciating that neither Section 137 – which sets out the process for the impeachment of the Chief Justice – or the doctrine of the separation of powers under the Constitution imposed any restriction on the rights or liberty of the public, including the association, to inquire or investigate the allegations. The association said that, properly construed, Section 137 could not justify any restriction on the rights and liberty of the public to freedom of thought, expression and freedom of the press.

Kangaloo’s interpretation of Section 137 was also said to have contradicted settled constitutional and common-law principles and would be inconsistent with the Constitution and “have a chilling effect” on the rights of the public, including the association, to exercise freedom of thought and expression in accordance with the guarantees under Sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution.


"Law Association appeal on CJ deemed urgent"

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