In this 2019 file photo, Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Justice of Appeal Allan Mendonca, and Dr Barry Ishmael, administrative secretary to the CJ are among members of the judiciary who walk from Trinity Cathedral to the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain during the ceremonial opening of the law term. –
ON October 6, the Chief Justice will preside over the ceremonial opening of the 2023/2024 law term with all the pomp and circumstance that the occasion is usually known for.
However, there is a revision of the format and venue for the ceremony.
Traditionally, the law term begins with an inter-faith service, a procession by judges, an inspection of the guards outside the Hall of Justice, and the CJ’s address at the Convocation Hall inside.
In 2020 and 2021, the term opened with a virtual address by Archie owing to pandemic restrictions. There was no parade or inspection of the troops. There was also none in 2022.
The 2023/2024 term opened on September 18. However, this year’s ceremonial opening takes place on October 6.
Chief Justice Ivor Arche was in Cardiff, Wales, in the UK, for the annual Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association conference and only returned to TT on Sunday.
This year’s opening will be held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) since the Trinity Cathedral, where it is usually held, is under repair and not available to the Judiciary.
In 2018, the inter-faith service for the 2018/2019 opening was held at the City Hall auditorium because of the damage to the Trinity Cathedral from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that year.
The move to NAPA is mainly to accommodate an increased number of judges since the Judiciary cannot further expand the stage at the Convocation Hall to accommodate them.
The inter-faith service will be condensed so there will not be a featured speaker and the Chief Justice will deliver his address at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium afterwards. On that day, NAPA will be designated a court to facilitate that sitting.
A parade by the Defence Force will take place around Memorial Park, ending in front of NAPA, where the Chief Justice will inspect the troops and take the salute. Primary and secondary schools have been invited to view the parade, the service and the special sitting of the court.
Archie will also host a sherry reception for judges and special guests on the upper floor of NAPA.
President Christine Kangaloo is expected to attend.
On Monday, the Equal Opportunity Tribunal held its ceremonial opening while the Industrial Court will hold its opening on Tuesday.