9 May 2017

Constitutional flim-flams

There are 3 constitutional crises facing the Trinidad and Tobago right now. The crises are:

  1. The Marcia Ayers-Caesar infamous promotion to the judicial bench.
  2. The possible illegality of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).
  3. The possible illegality of the Police Services Commission (PSC).

I will deal with them in order listed.

Ayers-Caesar is the former Chief Magistrate (CM), a post held in the past by another infamous and less-than-honourable son of the soil, Sherman McNicolls. Search for on this website Shermie and you will find loads of shenanigans he was involved in. It must be something in the office that affects the head (and possibly wallets) of the office holders. In any event, we have a situation where the CM was promoted to the High Court and left some 54 outstanding cases behind, all of which may have to be restarted from the beginning. This pissed of those charged in these matters, and a riot occurred in the jail cells downstairs from the court which resulted in some police/prison officers (I forget which) being hurt. Of course, they can now sue the State (using the copy and paste master, Gerald Ramdeen for a sure win) for failing to provide a safe working environment (and that’s only for starters!).

But Ayers-Caesar is expected to go back to the position of the Chief Magistrate, toppling her replacement who can now sue the State because she has/had a ‘legitimate expectation’ to the post she was promoted to. And, if that is not all, the Chief Justice (CJ) claims Ayers-Caesar never resigned as CM. What?! I’ve never known someone having to resign from one position, within the same organisation, to take up a higher post in the same organisation. Did I miss something? Now we have a whole bunch of questions jumping out at the CJ and JLSC, the latter making the appointment by the way.

  • If Ayers-Caesar didn’t resign, was she collecting salaries as both CM and a judge?
  • Did Ayers-Caesar’s replacement know she wasn’t really promoted and so has no legitimate expectation to either job or salary?
  • Why was there no due diligence checks?
  • Did she sit in hearing for any cases at the High Court? What happens to those matters?

You see? All kind of questions come to my mind, and I am sure the public (and legal fraternity) has thought up a lot more.

Which brings me to the JLSC. If it is illegal as purported, then this whole episode is a mere speck in the judicial pond. Immediately coming to mind is that Ayers-Caesar appointment would be illegal, as would her replacement’s… and so would any appointments made during the period of illegality!! How so, you ask. Well, an illegal entity can’t appoint a legal entity. Simple. What is illegal can’t make the illegal legal. Now look how this spreads:

Every single appointment would have to be declared void (more lawsuits) and all monies paid by way of salaries and perks would have to be recovered. Like throwing back the cascadoo yuh done eat back in the pond. Hundreds of appointments in the most part, I suspect. And we haven’t even begun to think about the cases those so appointed have been involved in. Can you imagine a few thousands of prisoners realising that the magistrate or judge who heard their case is not legally appointed to do so? What about those who were/are sentenced to prisons or even fines? I see floodgates opening for lawsuits and a mess worse that the sewage dumped in Queen’s Park Savannah.

Same situation for the PSC.

I hope readers now see better how this constitutional gobar (cow dung) is important to be washed, dried and deodorised quickly… I really hope so.

Before I forget… those of you who are wondering why magistrates and judges aren’t commenting ought to know that they can’t. They have to remain impartial in both private as well as public life. Sad, isn’t it? They can neither complain, nor defend themselves.