May 26, 2022

Fired Trinidad judge threatens to take president, chief justice to court

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From Caribbean News Now

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Marcia Ayers-Caesar, who was forced to resign within days of her appointment as a high court judge, has threatened to take Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) to court if she is not given her job as a judge back.

Ayers-Caesar said if she was not reinstated as a judge then she will be suing for compensation “for loss of office and the benefits that go with it” in addition to claims that she is entitled to be a judge. She will also be suing for the damages to her reputation, the Trinidad Guardian reported.

Ayers-Caesar has signalled her intention to sue Carmona, through Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC), which is chaired by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, in two pre-action protocol letters sent by her legal team to Carmona, Archie and Al-Rawi on Friday.

On May 19 Ayers-Caesar wrote a tell-all letter to Carmona stating that her removal as a high court judge is “unlawful and unconstitutional” and that she was put under pressure to resign. Ayers-Caesar said her resignation is, therefore, “of no legal effect”.

In March, Ayers-Caesar, who became the country’s first female chief magistrate in 2010, was informed by the JLSC that she had been selected for appointment as a high court judge. Her swearing in was scheduled for April 12.

On April 10, two days before the swearing in, Archie called Ayers-Caesar and asked her if she had any part-heard matters.

On April 11 Ayers-Caesar provided Archie with a list of 28 matters she had outstanding.

She was sworn in as a judge by Carmona on April 12.

On April 25 Archie called Ayers-Caesar to a meeting with the acting Chief Magistrate Maria Earle Busby-Caddle where they produced a list showing 52 matters outstanding.

During a meeting on April 27 with Archie, Ayers-Caesar was told that the JLSC decided that either she tender her resignation as a judge or the JLSC would advise Carmona to revoke her appointment.

Ayers-Caesar was given a resignation letter and a media release that had been prepared for her to sign.

Ayers-Caesar’s resignation letter was signed by her after the JLSC decided that she must resign or it would revoke her appointment as a judge.

IMAGE: (L-R) Marcia Ayers-Caesar, President Anthony Carmona and Chief Justice Ivor Archie after Caesar was sworn in as a judge in April. Photo: Trinidad Guardian

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