23 Apr 2010

Himself ruling in favour of himself

I am aghast at the audacity of the judiciary in Trinidad and Tobago. I am not however, surprised.

I had written many months ago on how the judiciary intended to fight tooth and nail to be excluded from the Integrity in Public Life Act. I do not, in any sense, support that measure.

Judges and magistrates and indeed all other legal officers have long been in positions of power. Power corrupts as we know. The very nature of their professions leads to corruption and we have countless examples to refer to. Sherman McNicolls and a dodgy land deal, Patrick Jagessar and a cheque, Hubert Volney and a clearly misguided and dotish Brad Boyce trial (I still wonder if anyone followed the money trail on that one?)… numerous times in the newspapers, or among friends, or among people we hear talk of a bribe being given to so and so…

The judiciary fought tooth, nail and claws to be excluded. So far, it is winning with himself ruling for himself. Whether it is something that will be pursued to the Privy Council, I do not know. I know I’d love to read the judgment and see the ‘reasoning’ in the decision handed down by Archie et al.

Let’s face it, judges and magistrates ARE in public life. No question about that. They’re also in positions of political and legal power. No question about that either. To me it is simple sense to monitor them and their resources, whether untold amounts arrive in their assets column on the balance sheet.

Understand me… I am not saying all are corrupt, or even that any are corrupt. I just prefer to have the checks and balances there that assure me they aren’t! I want to know there is something in place that if we hear talk we can investigate to clarify, and to address complaints.

Until then, I will voice my lone protest that they be included. I view this as a first world legislation watered down to third world standards.