Trinidad and Tobago chief justice continues to resist growing pressure to resign

Trinidad and Tobago chief justice continues to resist growing pressure to resign


Chief Justice Ivor Archie

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — While retired judges Humphrey Stollmeyer and Roger Hamel-Smith recently resigned from the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) amid growing pressure, Trinidad and Tobago Chief Justice Ivor Archie remained adamant that he will not be following suit.

Archie’s defiance comes on the heels of calls from some of the country’s legal luminaries for the exact reason why Stollmeyer and Hamel-Smith resigned from the JLSC to be made public, the Trinidad Guardian reported.

Senior Counsel Israel Khan has also called for a police investigation into the matter, saying that the “mess” cannot be swept under the carpet.

“Justice Stollmeyer’s explanation for his resignation has exacerbated themes and it is now very pressing that a police investigation be launched in order to find out the true facts,” Khan said.

While the resignation letters of the two justices were not made public, President Anthony Carmona, in a release issued on Friday, gave some of the details of their decisions.

Friday’s release quoted more extensively from Stollmeyer’s resignation letter, in which he claimed that the public uproar surrounding the cases left part-heard by chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar upon her short-lived appointment as a judge in April caused him to reassess his role in public life.

On June 2, following an unprecedented vote of no confidence in him by the Law Association and calls for him to step down, Archie said he would not be resigning.

He maintained that position on Saturday night in the face of mounting pressure.

Archie said he had no comment on the resignations of Stollmeyer and Hamel-Smith and added that he will not be resigning.

“I have no comment and by the way, I am not going to resign,” Archie said.