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They cant use protocol unit

Published: 
Monday, December 4, 2017
Dumas, Daly on judges’ plan to defend CJ in public ad

Former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas and Martin Daly SC say judges do not have the authority use the Judiciary’s Court and Protocol Information Unit to place newspaper advertisements in the latest issue involving Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

Their response comes in the wake of a newspaper article which suggests a group of judges had come out in defence of Archie in the incident involving private citizen Dillian Johnson, and planned to ask the CPIU to place the ad in the newspapers detailing their stance to the public.

The article said the judges preferred to remain anonymous but had issued a text and given the mandate to the CPIU to make the necessary arrangements for the publication of the ad, which they will pay for.

But in response yesterday, Daly and Dumas said the proposed ad would contain an account of the alleged role played by the CJ in discussions concerning a possible change in security arrangements for judicial officers and would refute allegations already in the public domain regarding the role of the Chief Justice.

They said the judges could not use the CPIU to place such an advertisement, adding the judges had no official status for such activity in relation to the CPIU.

“Further, it was a private expression of opinion of an unknown number of anonymous judges. If the mandate is accepted by the CPIU unit it would be an improper use of that unit, made more serious by the unit being used to cloak a private opinion in anonymity,” both men said in a release.

Dumas and Daly also inquired whether the unit could accept the alleged mandate without the approval of the Chief Justice as head of the Judiciary.

“We remain of the firm view that the person best placed to deal with the allegations in the public domain, particularly the alleged relationship with Dillian Johnson, is the Chief Justice himself,” they said.

They added that the report in question also revealed deep divisions within the Judiciary, which were not conducive to public trust in the institution and which will further undermine the institutional reputation of the Judiciary.

On November 17, High Court judge Carol Gobin had called for a meeting with Archie to discuss the “very serious and scandalous allegations” regarding Archie’s conduct in the matter.

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