Justice Gobin goes to Tobago

Justice Carol Gobin
Justice Carol Gobin

THE standoff between Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justice Carol Gobin over her being posted to the Family Court in Tobago for the new law term opening next month is over.

Gobin has agreed to go to Tobago, but only for one term.

Newsday was reliably informed by a judicial source yesterday that Archie and Gobin met last week and reached a compromise.

Gobin agreed to launch the Family Court, but will be based in Tobago only until December, when the court will break for Christmas.

But as far as Gobin is concern, the Chief Justice will have to find another judge to replace her in January 2020.

Newsday was told that during Archie and Gobin’s closed-door meeting, each agreed to consider the other’s concerns.

The judge will launch the Family Court in Tobago, but it was agreed that she will continue to function as a senior judge in the civil jurisdiction, where she will manage her docket of cases. As a senior judge in the civil jurisdiction, Gobin is currently adjudicating on a number of complex civil trials.

Gobin earlier vented her feeling that her posting as a sanction against her outspokenness on complaints raised by the Law Association (LATT) against Archie.

The issue, in which the LATT sought to have the Prime Minister initiate impeachment proceedings against Archie under section 137 of the constitution, was put to rest by Rowley last month based on legal advice.

Gobin and Archie exchanged terse e-mails over her posting, the judge contending that the unceremonious assignment was a move to sanction her, as she has been an outspoken critic of Archie on the LATT allegations.

Gobin also pointed out that she has very little experience in family law and has never sat as a judge in the Family Court.

Since the posting, Gobin had been seeking a meeting with Archie to discuss the matter.

Newsday was told that in addition to Gobin's agreeing to take up the Tobago position for one term, she agreed to attend the Family Court opening in Tobago.

On the other hand, it was agrred that she will retain her chambers and staff in Port of Spain in order to continue to manage her cases there. Newsday was also told civil cases will continue to be assigned to Gobin in the civil jurisdiction.

Gobin is one of two senior judges eligible for elevation to the Court of Appeal. Some judges have privately expressed the view that Gobin’s Tobago assignment was a "demotion" that would block her elevation.


"Justice Gobin goes to Tobago"

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