Devant wants award of ‘silk’ based on merit

Former minister Devant Maharaj
Former minister Devant Maharaj

FORMER government minister Devant Maharaj is advocating that the award of “silk” or Senior Counsel – the prestigious title given to lawyers on their elevation to the Inner Bar – be done on merit.

In a statement last week, Maharaj said questions have been raised within the legal fraternity about the imminent appointments.

He named four attorneys to be awarded silk by the People’s National Movement (PNM) administration.

“It was noticeable that some of the very few deserving of silk were not included in this year’s silk list,” he said, “and were apparently denied because of the fact they are not aligned to the PNM.

“Some have said that the politically awarded title should be given by an independent body based on merit and body of work rather than proximity to the political directorate in particular the Attorney General.”

Maharaj said the Rowley administration “had promised meaningful change in the award of silk yet none has come.”

Sources confirmed there was a list of the four people named by Maharaj, but noted that it is yet to be seen if these four will be given the title by the prime minister.

Newsday was told he intended to take his time in making the awards. Although it could not be confirmed, this is likely to take place in September, according to a source.

The “irony” of Maharaj’s call on the appointments to be made on merit was pointed out, since the last award of silk saw former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan among those who were awarded the title during the People’s Partnership regime in 2012.

Also among those who were on the list for silk were Chief Justice Ivor Archie and the late Justice of Appeal Wendell Kangaloo, both of whom returned the instruments granting them Senior Counsel status.


"Devant wants award of ‘silk’ based on merit"

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