T&T court appeal denied
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Trinidad and Tobago government that sought to challenge a lower court ruling that judges and magistrates were to be exempted from filing declarations with the Integrity Commission in accordance with the Integrity in Public Life Act 2000.
The three-member court, headed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, on Thursday said the application by Attorney General John Jeremie had been filed late and even ordered the attorney general to pay costs to the lawyers representing the members of the judiciary.
The Appeal Court was told that although High Court judge Judith Jones had made her ruling on the matter in 2007, it was only late last month that Jeremie decided to appeal the decision.
Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, who appeared on behalf of the attorney general, had argued that while Justice Jones gave the judgment on October 15, 2007, declaring that judges and magistrates should not declare their assets to the Integrity Commission, no appeal was ever filed by the Integrity Commission.
He said it was only on February 9 this year that Jeremie saw the judgment and decided to appeal.
But it took him more than six weeks to make the application to extend the time, so an appeal could be filed. Appeals from High Court decisions must be filed within 28 days.
Senior Counsel Russell Martineau, representing the judges and lawyers, said that from the outset the application should be dismissed.