The Law Association’s Council will meet on Friday regarding a preliminary report on alleged matters involving Chief Justice Ivor Archie, who is expected to return to Trinidad and Tobago from overseas, on the weekend.
According to a report in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, the association recently appointed a five-member committee including Law Association President Douglas Mendes SC, Elton Prescott SC, Lynette Seebaran-Suite, former acting High Court judge Rajiv Persad and Theresa Hadad to deal with the alleged matters.
Two senior counsels were also appointed to examine the matter to see whether there is sufficient basis to refer a question of alleged misbehaviour by the Chief Justice to Government for consideration of impeachment proceedings, under Section 137 of the Constitution.
The allegations against Archie include discussing judges’ security with a person and seeking to expedite Housing Development Corporation (HDC) housing for persons. The CJ has admitted to seeking the interest of people in need of HDC housing but has denied discussing security for judges with anyone outside the Judiciary.
The Law Association instituted the probe because of the negative overall effect the matter is having on the entire Judiciary.
Mendes and other LATT council members met Archie on November 30 concerning the allegations, which were viewed as bringing the Judiciary into disrepute. At that meeting, Archie was informed of LATT’s move to probe the allegations and reportedly told the group he would consider what was discussed.
Archie is currently out of the country and is scheduled to return this weekend.
The issue concerning Archie has been further fueled by criticism from former chief justices Sat Sharma and Clinton Bernard.
Government has also declined comment or action on the controversy, saying the administration has no basis for intervention.