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Judiciary: ‘Fear factor’ comment in Senate offensive

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Judiciary says it is concerned over recent “fear factor” comments made in the Senate. In a media release yesterday, the Judiciary said it was deeply disappointed in statements from the Senate earlier this week, which implied that judges and magistrates considered what was termed the “fear factor” in making their decisions, including the granting of bail to accused people. 


The Judiciary said it found the particular comments offensive, an affront to the administration of justice, and said it was extremely unfortunate these comments were made during deliberations on the Bail Amendment Bill. The Judiciary said the comments had been recorded in Hansard of the Parliament and had also received prominent coverage in the national print and electronic media. 


It said in addition to being without foundation, the utterances were irresponsible, dangerous and could only serve to undermine public trust and confidence in the institution and its officers. The Judiciary said even before judges and magistrates could assume office, the Constitution demanded they swear to an oath or affirm solemnly that they would bear true faith and allegiance to T&T and would uphold the Constitution and the law.


The Judiciary said it had no history of its officers breaching their oath out of fear. It assured the national community in the release that it would continue to ensure steadfast, scrupulous and rigorous adherence by judicial officers to the enshrined principles that govern their practice.