Law Association prez mum on Marcia

Asked for his views on the letter dated May 19, Mendes said, “I have no comment on that because that appears to be a letter in anticipation of litigation.

There is a chance that this letter might end up in court.” In the letter, Ayers-Caesar said, her removal as a Puisne Judge of the High Court two weeks after she was sworn into office by the President, that it was her belief that her “purported removal was unlawful and unconstitutional, and my resignation letter was of no effect.” According to the constitution, she said, “a judge can be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of office, or for misbehaviour, and further she cannot be removed except in” in certain circumstances.

She said, she was not guilty of anything “that could sensibly be said to amount to misbehaviour (there is no question of inability to perform the functions of office), and so for this reason alone my effective removal from office was unlawful.” The President is also empowered to remove a judge from office only where the question of removal for inability to perform, or misbehaviour has been referred to the Judicial Committee, and the committee has advised the President. This was not done, she said.


According to the constitution, Ayers-Caesar said, the President “cannot even refer the question of removal to the Judicial Committee unless (a) the JLSC (Judicial and Legal Services Commission) represent to him that the matter should be investigated, (b) he then sets up a tribunal to look into it, and ( c ) the tribunal recommends that he should refer the question of removal to the Judicial Committee. None of this was done, she said.

Ayers-Caesar said that due process was not followed for her removal. She said that she was forced to resign having had the letter of resignation prepared for her to sign, and a press release to be made public, also prepared for her by the JLSC.

She said that the JLSC “acted in breach of the rules of natural justice in making a decision to seek my resignation, or putting me under pressure to resign, without putting the case against me or even warning me of it, and without given me and proper opportunity to resign.” She said that she signed the letter of resignation under pressure without legal advice.

The President’s acceptance of her ‘resignation’, she said, was unconstitutional for all the reasons she outlined.

She asked that he consider the matters and respond to her “as matter of urgency” and to acknowledge that “my removal from office was unlawful and unconstitutional and can have no legal effect.”

Source: Newsday,244930.html