President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) Douglas Mendes SC has expressed hope that recommendations from a Committee on Judicial Appointments will assist in democratising the process of appointing judges.
He was speaking on Friday at the official handover of the final report from the committee to the LATT at the association's offices.
The report from the seven member committee, chaired by former judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice Desiree Bernard, including recommendations for the Judicial and Legal Service Commission to be replaced by a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) established under the Constitution and this JAC would have responsibility for the appointment, promotion, transfer and the removal of judges of the Court of Appeal. The JAC would comprise seven members: the Chief Justice as chairman; a retired judge of the Court of Appeal; a senior attorney of not less than 15 years call in active practice nominated by the council of the Law Association; an attorney of not less than 10 years call not in active practice and appointed by the President; a human resources professional; and two members drawn from outstanding people from civil society, academia or national organisations representative of business of community interests.
Mendes said the council of the Law Association will review the report and intend to persuade the legislature to take on board some of the recommendations. He added the report will be posted shortly on the LATT website.