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Recruitment opens for Chief Magistrate post

Published: 
Friday, November 10, 2017

The Director of Personnel Administration is in the process of recruiting a new Chief Magistrate.

The advertisement for the position was contained in a memorandum circulated to the permanent secretaries of all Government ministries, the Law Association and on the Service Commission Department website last Thursday.

The memorandum set a deadline of November 23 for the submission of applications.

While the advertisement was issued to several Government bodies, it seems to only apply to the 13 serving senior magistrates in T&T, including acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle, as the minimum experience required is holding such a post for at least eight years.

In addition to managing all the senior magistrates and 31 magistrates presiding across T&T and the courts’ administrative staff, the Chief Magistrate is also required to preside over high-profile and murder cases in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court. The position carries a monthly salary of $32,700.

The move to fill the position comes a little over six months after former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar left the post to be appointed as a High Court Judge.

Ayers-Caesar’s appointment was short-lived, however, as she resigned within two weeks of her appointment amid public uproar over the 53 case she left unfinished.

Ayers-Caesar, who has been temporarily replaced by Busby-Earle-Caddle, is currently suing President Anthony Carmona and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) for allegedly pressuring her to resign.

The Office of the Attorney General has also filed an interpretation lawsuit seeking to determine Ayers-Caesar’s status and how the unfinished cases should proceed.

In the meantime, Busby-Earle-Caddle has moved ahead to restart the preliminary enquires left by Ayers-Caesar.

The move has been opposed by one murder accused, Akili Charles, who has filed a lawsuit over the decision to restart his preliminary inquiry. High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad is still determining whether to grant Charles permission to pursue the claim, as the judge believes his case clashes with one already filed by the State.