July 12, 2009

T& T Law Association on Justice Hayton

Politics: raw and refined
.........( edited for relevance).....

The Law Association was involved in another controversy, this time one involving a senior judge. Justice David Hayton, an English member of the Caribbean Court of Justice, was reported to have said that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has too much influence, more indeed than the Prime Minister of Britain who did not have the power to veto nominees for hundreds of senior state officers. Hayton also said that given the power which the Prime Minister had, he did not see the need for him to become Executive President.

He remarked further that in his role as party leader, the Prime Minister also determined who contested elections and who could not. In that regard, the leader of the PNM has more power than the parties in England. (Express, July 3, 2009)

These were weighty observations and the Law Association censured the judge, and rightly so. As it said, "like all other citizens, judges are entitled to freedom of expression. In expressing that right, a judge must conduct himself in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of his office and the impartially and independence of the judiciary." Justice Hayton clearly descended into the political thicket by the comments he made.

Many however indicated that while the judge was not politically correct, he spoke the truth and applauded his remarks. I too agree that the PM has too much power and that his wings need to be politically clipped.Those battles however have tobe fought in different theatres.

No comments: