Despite a resolution from the Law Association calling for his resignation, Chief Justice Ivor Archie continued with his overseas travelling agenda and went off to Barbados on Friday to attend a conference.
There was a buzz at the Barbados Hilton on Friday as news spread that despite Thursday’s unprecedented Law Association meeting in Trinidad, Archie still accepted the invitation from the Barbados Bar Association and attended the conference.
Sources at the conference said Archie was not his usual bubbly self as individual lawyers spoke with him about his problems in Trinidad.
Even Barbados lawyers said it was morally wrong of Archie to still attend their conference with questions hanging over his head in Trinidad.
In Barbados, sources said Archie said he was not resigning as Chief Justice, despite the vote by lawyers.
The conference is being held at the Barbados Hilton Hotel and concludes on Monday. The topics being covered include corporate governance, international business, foreign exchange controls, lessons in community law, money laundering legislation, legalising marijuana, technology and computer misuse, legal education, the right to privacy and practice management.
The Law Association was expected to transmit official correspondence to the Office of the Chief Justice and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) secretariat detailing the approved resolutions on Friday.
Archie’s departure from Trinidad, was also a talking point within the Judiciary. Several Judges were unaware that Archie was not in Trinidad. Some doubted that he had left the country at this time.
Justice of Appeal Allan Mendonca, the most senior appellate judge, was appointed to act in Archie’s absence.
The move by the Law Association is a culmination of a series of unfortunate events surrounding the appointment and subsequent resignation of Marcia Ayers-Caesar as a judge of the High Court.
Ayers-Caesar, the former chief magistrate, left a total of 53 unfinished criminal cases before she accepted the promotion on April 12. She chucked the job two weeks later after prisoners protested that their matters were left undone and the JLSC subsequently blamed her for misleading it about the number of cases she left unfinished. The cases assigned to her at the San Fernando Third Criminal Court were also left undone.
A statement issued by the Judiciary at 5.48 pm on Friday announced the departure of Chief Justice Ivor Archie to Barbados.
It stated that Archie accepted the invitation of the Barbados Bar Association to present a paper at the inaugural Whitsun Weekend Law Conference in January on technology and the pace of justice.
The release said the conference concludes on Monday and engages a cross-section of judicial officers, academics, professionals and business leaders from within the region to explore topics that impact the social and legal landscape of Barbados.
The statement also announced the appointment of Mendonca to act as Chief Justice in Archie’s absence.