Chief Justice responds to Law Association

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 16:30

Chief Justice Ivor Archie has replied to the president of the Law Association Douglas Mendes, seeking to clarify some aspects of the controversy that revolves around the appointment of Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar as a High Court judge.

The response came via a letter signed by the administrative secretary to the Chief Justice, Sherlanne Pierre.

The letter made it clear from the onset that the appointment of Supreme Court judges, is not the responsibility of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) but rather that of the President of the Republic.

It said the JLSC has the responsibility to inform the president of the existence of vacancies and also to make recommendations on the filling of those positions. 

It said that neither the JLSC nor the Chief Justice has control over the date the appointments are made, adding that it is the responsibility of every prospective appointee to the office of puisne judge, to place themselves in a state of readiness to assume office.

The letter noted that while the Chief Justice exercises supervision and control over Masters, the Chief Magistrate and the Registrar and Marshall, such control is restricted to administrative matters.

It went on to say that under the principle of judicial independence, the tracking and disposition of judicial matters is the responsibility of every judicial officer.

The letter went on to answer several questions posed to to the Chief Justice by the Law Association, during which he explained that at no time did the need arise to question the professionalism of Ayers-Caesar, who had indicated that she had three short summary trials to be dealt with, and some paper committals that could have been easily disposed of by another magistrate.