PM accuses Law Association of political bias

The is­sues sur­round­ing Chief Jus­tice Ivor Archie con­tin­ued to be in fo­cus Sun­day, as Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ques­tioned the Law As­so­ci­a­tion’s po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions and said it seemed as though the body had a prob­lem with the CJ’s lifestyle.

Speak­ing at the in­stal­la­tion of a new Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment Diego Mar­tin West Con­stituen­cy ex­ec­u­tive Sun­day, Row­ley said the main ba­sis for re­ject­ing the call by the Law As­so­ci­a­tion to in­voke Sec­tion 37 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to trig­ger a tri­bunal to in­ves­ti­gate the Chief Jus­tice is a lack of ev­i­dence.

“But they have a prob­lem which formed no part of the ev­i­dence put be­fore me or my ad­vis­ing lawyer, and it is this, all of them who you see car­ry­ing on with this sto­ry about the Chief Jus­tice, they have a prob­lem with the Chief Jus­tice’s lifestyle, it was nev­er record­ed and pre­sent­ed to me.

“But they want­ed to use me as Prime Min­is­ter to car­ry out their pri­vate and se­cret talks. I am not in­volved in that. Yet he who has some­thing to say come out and say it and he who has some­thing to do, come out and do it and that goes for the me­dia too.”

Last week, Dr Row­ley made pub­lic ad­vice giv­en to him by Queen’s Coun­sel Howard Stevens that in­formed his de­ci­sion not to take ac­tion against the Chief Jus­tice. Since then he has been crit­i­cised by sev­er­al peo­ple in the le­gal fra­ter­ni­ty.

On Sun­day, Row­ley took aim at the Law As­so­ci­a­tion for its con­tin­ued per­sis­tence on this mat­ter.

“That is not the new so­ci­ety that we are try­ing to build. The new so­ci­ety that we are try­ing to build is one that would have a Law As­so­ci­a­tion that would know that it ought not to be at the be­hest, at the call, at the com­ing and go­ing of a cor­rupt po­lit­i­cal par­ty.

The so­ci­ety we are try­ing to build is not one where the le­gal fra­ter­ni­ty is one where a hand­ful of peo­ple with a se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal agen­da could call a meet­ing of the Law As­so­ci­a­tion.

“This one bring 20 of his par­ty mem­bers, that one bring 10 and out of 4,000 lawyers there­about, 150 vote to re­move the Chief Jus­tice.”

The Prime Min­ster said when it came to is­sues in­volv­ing pos­si­ble mis­con­duct on the part of mem­bers of the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress the Law As­so­ci­a­tion had noth­ing to say. He made it clear that he does not work for the Law As­so­ci­a­tion and will con­tin­ue to ig­nore them.

He said to ac­cede to its re­quest would mean en­cour­ag­ing in­dis­ci­pline in the Ju­di­cia­ry and so­ci­ety.

Reporter: Chester Sambrano

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