6 Jan 2018

A cricket’s advice to the Chief Justice

I read with interest an article in The Express of 06 January 2017, “Pictures were Photoshopped”, as it relates to the Chief Justice (CJ).

I am led to understand  CJ Archie has taken the first steps toward suing The Express, or settling out of court, subject to certain retractions by the Express that he outlined.

Aside from wondering if he is pursuing legal action as the CJ or Ivor Archie in a personal capacity, I wonder who will be footing the bill? And, I have to wonder if the CJ is really that obtuse? There are several issues that haunt the CJ. It is not simply the one issue of whether photos were doctored and misrepresented by someone. There is a whole lot more that do not need itemising - as it is all in the public domain.  Sadly, the CJ hangs tough to an untenable position; untenable for the following reasons:

  1. Any investigation, or proceeding to make the CJ accountable will necessarily involve much deeper prying into his public and private life. Is he ready to open himself to such scrutiny, knowing that the ‘court of public opinion’ has much harsher judges than his bench peers?

2. Is he ready to expose his family and friends, colleagues and juniors to the inevitable harsh remarks which will surely follow? Can he mitigate the hurt to family, his reputation and walk away with some dignity in tact?

3. Persisting in his present course of action will no doubt lead to court proceedings. That is a forum where secrets are bared to the bone so to speak. Can he afford to have skeletons out in the open, rattling on a hot tin roof?

Now, the issues in the public domain will involve several proceedings at various courts,  in all likelihood. No ‘Marvel’ one shot here. In any of them, he may well earn a pyrrhic victory but the ensuing morass will indeed be a shameful day, not only for the country of Trinidad and Tobago, but a bitter pill throughout the entire Commonwealth.

Far be it for a little ‘Jiminy Cricket’ like me to give advice to a legal mind like the CJ, but were I in a position to do so, I would advise him to look at the bigger picture, the panorama of the forest and not the trees. I would paraphrase Dylan Thomas and urge him to go gently into the good night, as wise men at their end know when dark is right.