Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2014 Contents the issue since they are the ones who
would receive justice.
"These things need to be thought
out. It must be packaged in a logical
way. They should not just pluck a figure
out of a hat but look at the entire matter
in a perspective manner."
o o o
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Hosein said he was not sure what
criteria the Government would use to
determine the reduction in the ban.
"It seems to me that the same ration-
ale for reducing to three to five years,
it could support an argument for its
entire removal. But I have already indi-
cated to the Attorney General that we
have no objection to the reduction of
the ban to three to five years."
Hosein said he was concerned about
judges who, having been prevented
from returning to practice, found that
their pension levels were inadequate
for a reasonable standard of living.
"I am not aware that there is any
such restraint on any other class of
Before the ban was imposed, Hosein
said, members of the judiciary had
expressed their disapproval.
While the age of retirement from the
Supreme Court for judges is 65, Hosein
said he believed the age for the Criminal
Court of Justice was 70.
In England, he said, the courts have
extended the retirement age to 72.
Hosein said, "At age 65, judges are
at the peak of their judicial career. I
think with the additional five years the
State or public would benefit from the
extended experience, which is subject
to good health. I think it is a very sound
idea. I can personally see no reason
against the re-appointment unless there
A A A
Plans by the
reduce the ten-
year ban on
ing law after
they leave the
bench, as well
age for them to
retire are not
chief justice Sat
president of the
Retired Judges Association Zainool Hosein said he
had no objections to the two improvements Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan was trying to make in the
Judges and Salaries Pensions Bill.
Ramlogan wants to shorten the ten-year period in
which retired judges are debarred from practising
law to a more reasonable and practical time of between
three and five years, while increasing the retirement
age from 65 to 70.
The Sunday Guardian learned that the soon-to-
be amended legislation has already received the
approval of the Law Association, and its president
Seenath Jairam confirmed that recommendations
have already been forwarded to the AG s office.
However, Sharma said he disliked the idea of judges
going back to private practice and feels mediation
and arbitration were more practical.
"I don t know if going back to private practice
after three years or ten years in a small society like
ours is really the right thing to do. I think the matter
should be properly debated.
Sharma said reducing the ban should not be done
to please just a few.
He said he would support the increase in the retire-
ment age, "providing that the judges whose time is
going to be extended must be intellectually robust
to carry on."
Sharma said the judiciary should examine the
mental and physical capabilities of those candidates.
Sharma said it was not just about extending the
age, but using discretion.
"It cannot be automatic, otherwise you might be
repeating errors...aggravating errors with the candi-
dates selected. What about when people start to say
when these fellas start to weigh cases that they frater-
nising and something wrong with the judges? How
is the client going to feel?"
The public, Sharma feels, should have a say on
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 22, 2014
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are reasons we may not know about or why a certain
judge may not be re-appointed."
Hosein said the Judicial and Legal Service Com-
mission would have to take into account judges bad
decisions in court.
"If a judge has been making elementary blunders
and has conducted himself on the bench in an
unpalatable or unprofessional manner, then they may
Also welcoming the move to shorten the ban on
judges was former High Court judge Herbert Volney
who resigned from the bench in 2010.
"I think ten years is obviously too long. I think
there should be a cooling-off period of five years,"
said Volney, who was fired as justice minister in 2012,
following the controversial Section 34 matter.
Told that the AG was trying to amend the legislation
to facilitate him going back into private practice,
Volney said he preferred to take up a judicial appoint-
ment with the Criminal Court in the Caribbean or
Commonwealth than to practice law at the bar in
T&T. "So this is not intended for me, not by any
In a Sunday Guardian article in May, Volney shared
a different view, stating that the move to reduce the
ban "now allows me to return to practice and make
Volney, however, did not agree with extending the
judges retirement age.
"At 65, the norm is that people go into retirement.
They become slower and are not as productive as
they would be if they were younger. I don t think it
is a move in the right direction."
Volney said young vibrant judges are needed on
C u A
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