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Friday 21 September 2018
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Judges support colleague charged with drunk driving

High Court Judge Kevin Ramcharan outside the Port of Spain magistrate court. Photo: Sureash Cholai

JUDGES of the Supreme Court have said they are supporting their colleague Justice Kevin Ramcharan.

Ramcharan, who was arrested on Saturday night and charged with driving under the influence, appeared in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday. He did not enter a plea, since the prosecution sought to have the charge amended. He returns to court on July 3. Several judges said notwithstanding the nature of the offence, they did not expect harsh disciplinary action to be taken against him.

Some judges agreed with one colleague who said, “Kevin has to understand that he got an opportunity that perhaps he was not ready for, but having taken it, he needs to understand what it is to be a judge and behave appropriately. “His first step is to plead guilty and commit to not doing it again.

“After that he needs to settle down, ignore the social media attacks and focus on doing his work as best as he can.” Sources said it was unlikely that the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) will meet and discuss the issue “in full” until the matter comes to an end in the magistrates’ court.

Under the Constitution, the procedure for removing a judge is contained in section 137, under which a judge may be removed for being unable to perform the functions of his office or for misbehaviour. Ramcharan, a former registrar of the Supreme Court, was appointed a judge in April last year. Also appointed were former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar and former magistrate Avason Quinlan-Williams, wife of acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams. At the time of the three appointments, Chief Justice Ivor Archie had to defend the process used by the JLSC to select and appoint judges.

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