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Sunday, July 9, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Lawyers want CJ, Pres to
come clean on JLSC fiasco
JOEL JULIEN AND RHONDA
While retired Justices Hum-
phrey Stollmeyer and Roger
Hamel-Smith recently resigned
from the Judicial and Legal Ser-
vices Commission (JLSC) amid
growing pressure, Chief Justice
Ivor Archie yesterday remained
adamant that he will not be fol-
Archie’s defiance comes on the
heels of calls from some of this
country’s legal luminaries for the
exact reason why Stollmeyer and
Hamel-Smith resigned from the
JLSC to be made public.
As Chief Justice, Archie is the
chairman of the JLSC which now
only has three members following
the resignations of Stollmeyer and
A Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request has also been sent
by a concerned citizen calling on
both Archie and President Antho-
ny Carmona to make the resignation
letters of Stollmeyer and Hamel-
Smith public because they are “of
great public importance”.
The FOIA request comes at a
time when questions are still being
asked by some of this country’s le-
gal luminaries about the delay in the
announcement of the resignations
and whether the JLSC is properly
Senior Counsel Israel Khan has
also called for a police investigation
into the matter.
On Thursday, the Office of the
President announced the resig-
nations of Stollmeyer and Hamel-
This announcement came almost
a week after both Hamel-Smith’s
and Stollmeyer’s resignations be-
came effective on June 30.
Both men submitted their resig-
nation letters on June 22.
The resignation letters of the two
justices were not made public, but
Carmona, in a release issued on Fri-
day, gave some of the details of their
Friday’s release quoted more ex-
tensively from Stollmeyer’s resigna-
tion letter, in which he claimed that
the public uproar surrounding the
cases left unfinished by Marcia Ay-
ers-Caesar upon her short-lived ap-
pointment as a judge in April caused
him to reassess his role in public life.
‘Days of secrecy long gone’
Archie was approached by the
Sunday Guardian following the
induction ceremony of Prof Brian
Copeland as Pro Vice-Chancellor
and Campus Principal of The Uni-
versity of the West Indies St Augus-
When approached, Archie said he
had no comment on the resignations
of Stollmeyer and Hamel-Smith.
He, however, maintained that he
will not be resigning.
“I have no comment and by the
way, I am not going to resign,” Ar-
On June 2, following an unprece-
dented vote of no confidence in him
by the Law Association and calls for
him to step down, Archie told the
Guardian he would not be resigning.
He maintained that position last
night in the face of mounting pres-
In an earlier email sent to Sher-
lanne Pierre, the administrative sec-
retary to the Chief Justice, she said
a response to queries by the Sunday
Guardian will be forthcoming.
The Judiciary is expected to re-
Even as Archie remained defi-
ant, citizen Matthew Mc Carthy
from Sorzano Street, Arima, called
on both him and Carmona to make
the resignation letters of retired Jus-
tices Stollmeyer and Hamel-Smith
A FOIA request was sent by his
attorney Reynold Waldropt.
“Our client is of the respectful
view that this information should
be provided as it involves a matter
of great public importance and that
it is in the public interest that it be
made public,” the letter stated.
“The Judicial and Legal Service
commission is a public body, which
performs very important functions
under the Constitution of the Re-
public of Trinidad and Tobago.
“It is important that the conduct
of its affairs be open to scrutiny. In-
deed, the days of secrecy and lack
of transparency in the conduct of
public affairs are long gone,” the
letter stated .
“It is therefore our fervent hope
that the requested material would
be disclosed in the public interest,”
the letter stated.
Mc Carthy is also calling for the
“reason for the delay in making the
resignations known to the public of
Trinidad and Tobago”.
Khan: Mess cannot
be swept under the carpet
Senior Counsel Israel Khan yes-
terday said the “mess” cannot be
swept under the carpet.
“Justice Stollmeyer’s explanation
for his resignation has exacerbated
themes and it is now very press-
ing that a police investigation be
launched in order to find out the
true facts,” Khan said.
“From his explanation, he is
saying that the JLSC did nothing
wrong and he was hounded out of
office. If this is true, then Marcia
Ayers-Caesar is the culprit and
thus she should be charged with
misbehaviour in public office. But
what if she is speaking the truth that
she informed the JLSC that she had
left behind twenty-eight part heard
matters? Why then did the JLSC ad-
vise the president to appoint her?
Most of all, after the s... hit the fan
(with the violent protestations of the
prisoners in open court) why did the
JLSC force/trick her to resign as a
judge of the High Court?
“This mess is getting ‘worser and
worser’. Somebody is lying–but
who? And that is what the stake-
holders in this matter must know.
The rule of law demands it. This
mess must not be swept under the
red carpet at the Hall of Justice,” he
Ramlogan: JLSC author of
its own misfortunes
Former attorney general Senior
Counsel Anand Ramlogan said the
JLSC was the “author of its own
“Whilst I sympathise and identify
with the distress and inconvenience
public criticism often causes, it is a
necessary evil. That is why the right
to freedom of expression and the
right to a free press are enshrined
as fundamental human rights in our
Constitution,” he said.
“The unfortunate drama that has
emerged on a piecemeal basis over
the Marcia-Ayers fiasco, illustrates
why the public and the media must
have a right to criticize and question
the conduct of officials who hold
public office. There can be no sacred
cows, lest there be the perception
that there are different strokes for
different folks,” Ramlogan said.
He said that the entire situation
highlighted the need for “urgent
reform” with respect to how judg-
es are selected, and that the JLSC’s
handling of the issues have raised
more questions than answers.
2018 launch of
Lace on Friday
at their Alcazar
Street, St Clair
Continues on Page A5
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