INDUSTRIAL court judges are not employed by a month to month arrangement, but are appointed by the President according to Sections four and five of the Industrial Relations Act 88:01.
Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, responding to Opposition Senator Wade Mark’s question about the acquisition of judges, said the judges can hold office for not less than three years or more than five years as specified in their respective instruments.
“When their term has expired, Section 49 of the Industrial Relations Act provides that the judge may continue in office after the end of the term as may be necessary to enable him to deliver judgement,” Al Rawi said during the debate on the Evidence (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Upper House on Wednesday.
Al Rawi said there were four judges operating on a continuation in office basis ranging from three to six months, adding that the judges were eligible for reappointment under Section five of the Industrial Relations Act.
Mark then questioned the AG about the security of tenure for the judges, to which Al Rawi responded that this was a law that has withstood the test of time.
“Security of tenure is defined under the act and has been well entrenched and been subject to Privy Council Appeal , and is known for all and sundry.”
“Asked whether this power should be removed and placed under the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC), Al Rawi said it was entrenched in the law as it relates to the President.
“The honourable senator ought to know that. He is a long standing member of this Parliament on several committees. It seems our friend has forgotten all of the laws he has been exposed to in the many years he has been in Parliament. I am not going to join senator Mark on this frolic that he’s on that does not exist in TT.”