AG may appeal ruling on Ayers-Caesar’s forced resignation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC. – Photo by Jeff K. Mayers

Attorney General Reginald Armour says he is “taking advice for an immediate appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council” on this week’s Appeal Courtruling that Marcia Ayers-Caesar was coerced and forced out of office as a judge.

His brief response came in a WhatsApp message by Newsday on Friday afternoon. Armour, who was in Parliament at the time, did not reply to a follow-up question on when a final decision is expected. On Thursday, Appeal Court judges Allan Mendonca, Nolan Bereaux and Alice Yorke-Soo Hon upheld Ayers-Caesar’s appeal over being pressured into resigning.

They declared that she continued to hold the office of puisne judge “because her purported letter of resignation was procured by the illegal conduct of the commission.”The judges also granted a stay of 21 days of their orders to give the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC) time to decide on its next steps, if any.

In April 2017, Ayers-Caesar previously chief magistrate, was appointed a judge, but resigned 15 days later after an outcry over some 53 cases she had outstanding in the magistrates court.

She said in her subsequent lawsuit that the JLSC had acted unlawfully in seeking her resignation as a judge, unlawfully procured her resignation and acted unlawfully in treating her consequent purported resignation as effective.

She said the JLSC pressured her to resign, in that she was told to sign an already-prepared resignation letter or the President would revoke her appointment.