Leela Ramdeen: Why I demitted EOT

Leela Ramdeen -
Leela Ramdeen -

The Editor: I note that in his Newsday column on Sunday, Colin Robinson implied that I demitted office in my role as lay assessor at the Equal Opportunity Tribunal (EOT) because of his previous article in which he stated that I was ‘clinging on’ to my position there.

I would also appreciate it if you could publish the “truth” about the history of my tenure on the EOT.

I enclose hereunder a link to an article I wrote in CCSJ’s column in Catholic News on February 7, 2020 about the history of my involvement as lay assessor at the EOT. I also enclose an excerpt from that article outlining why, after my three-year ‘stint’ there, I resumed duties.

It is also important to point out that lay assessors play no role in the final decision in any EOT proceedings.

Please draw to his attention and to your readers the sections of the EO Act (Ch. 22:03) that relate to lay assessors and to the jurisdiction of the chair/judge of the EOT.

“S. 42 (4) The lay-assessors shall assist the chairman in arriving at a decision in proceedings before the Tribunal.

S. 42 (6) Notwithstanding that his term of office has expired, a lay-assessor may, with the permission of the President acting on the advice of the chairman, continue in office for such a period after the expiry of his term as may be necessary to do anything in relation to the completion of proceedings that were commenced before the Tribunal before his term of office expired.

S. 44 (1) The jurisdiction of the Tribunal and powers of the Tribunal may be exercised by the Chairman and at least one lay-assessor.

S. 44 (7) The decision of the Tribunal in any proceedings shall be made by the chairman and shall be delivered by him.”

The truth is that on the appointment of two lay assessors in January 2020, and at the completion of proceedings that were commenced before the EOT before my term of office had expired in 2018, my tenure at the EOT ended on January 31, 2020.

I returned to TT to serve my country in whatever way I can. If Mr Robinson read the judgment in the case to which he refers, he will note that it highlights the need for justice for all.

See the full article here: https://catholicnewstt.com/index.php/2020/02/07/shining-our-light/

Leela Ramdeen

Chair, Catholic Commission for Social Justice &

Archdiocese’s Ministry for Migrants and Refugees

via e-mail


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