Saturday 4 April, 2020

Archie: I’ve been the subject of 20 articles making false accusations

Chief Justice Ivor Archie says he has been the subject of 20 articles making false accusations.

Archie made the comment at the opening of the 2018-2019 Law Term on Monday.

He has been the subject of allegations of serious misconduct in the media with the last year.

It has been reported that the Chief Justice attempted to advise Supreme Court Judges to change their state-provided security in favour of a private security company that employs his close friend Dillian Johnson, as a consultant. It has also been alleged that Johnson, a convicted felon was listed as one of 12 people who successfully obtained HDC houses after the Chief Justice personally called senior HDC officials to fast-track the applications.

Archie said he has been restrained in his legal responses to these accusations, thus far.

“All of us in Trinidad and Tobago value a free press. For that reason, I have, thus far, been restrained in my legal responses to certain false allegations made in the media, although I reserve my right to recourse as a private citizen at a time of my choosing. Over the past ten months the Judiciary has been faced with the challenge of me being the subject of more than 20 articles making such false allegations,” the Chief Justice said.

Last month, an appeal filed by the Chief Justice with the Privy Council challenging an investigation by the Law Association into allegations of misconduct against him was rejected.

The ruling cleared the way for the Association to continue its investigations into Archie.

Speaking during the Law Term opening today, Archie noted that Privy Council in delivering its ruling made it clear that he is only accountable to the Constitution.

“As you are aware the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has made it clear that I am accountable only in accordance with the Constitution. I will continue to discharge my oath and my solemn obligations and I expect and call on other stakeholders to do the same.”

Despite, this Archie said the Judiciary is in the cusp of a transition.

Making reference to this year’s theme, “Justice for our Children-Effecting Change,” the Chief Justice said he feels as though there’s remains unfinished business for him.

“But challenging times bring out the best in us and I am proud to report that we are on the cusp of a transition that will see a dramatically restructured judiciary whose recruitment and management philosophies may well be incomprehensible to those stakeholders who, looking on from the outside, may not understand what we do and why we do it the way we do.” 

 

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