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New Justice Minister: Volney’s work will continue (CNC3 video included)
After being sworn in as Justice Minister yesterday Tobago-born attorney Christlyn Moore says she intends to reform the criminal justice process and continue the work of her predecessor, Herbert Volney. She was sworn in during a short ceremony, presided over by acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith, at Knowsley, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. After the ceremony, Moore listed her priorities.
She said: “My priorities are to really get into the ministry and assess the situation on the ground and after that commit to moving the ministry forward, reforming the criminal Justice process and continuing where my predecessor left off.” Moore was the second person to assume the portfolio after the sacking of Volney last week Thursday. Volney held the portfolio since the People’s Partnership Government assumed office in May 2010.
He was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last week for misleading the Cabinet about the support of Chief Justice Ivor Archie for the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011. Moore said she had not spoken with Volney since his dismissal but intended to do so. She defended her legal representation of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in her private capacity.
She said: “It is quite telling that among my (former) clients would have been listed the Attorney General and the Prime Minister. Not many attorneys can boast of a cliental so august.” Persad-Bissessar and several Cabinet Ministers, including Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Labour Minister Errol McLeod, attended.
Minority Leader in the Tobago House of Assembly Ashworth Jack and relatives of Moore also witnessed the event. Meanwhile, Persad-Bissessar, in her address at the ceremony, said Moore brought “a wealth of experience as she has practised at both the criminal and civil Bars for a number of years and is acutely aware of the shortcomings that plague the administration of justice and the challenges that it faces and which we have to overcome if we are to achieve the noble ideal of justice for all.”
She said Moore shared “our hopes, aspirations and, most importantly, our vision for the future and has come forward to offer her services to her country, no doubt with some measure of personal sacrifice.” The PM said Moore’s “reputation for competence and hard work in her professional undertakings were a legend. This, combined with her amiable personality, suggests to me it will be a recipe for success.”
She was confident “Moore would discharge her portfolio with integrity, efficiency and decorum and I wholeheartedly welcome her as another sister into the fold of the Cabinet as we join hands together to move our country forward and fulfil the mandate of this administration.”
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