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Jun 18, 2014

Attorney General defends the reappointment of Justice Awich

Samuel Awich

In May 2012, Supreme Court Judge Samuel Lungole Awich was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. That appointment was not supported by the Bar Association, and neither was the decision in May 2014 to renew and extend his contract. One of the criticisms levied against Justice Awich then and now is his alleged failure to deliver judgments in a timely fashion. A resolution passed by Bar, claims that Awich does not have the ‘wherewithal’ to be a Justice of the Court Appeal. Furthermore, it says that the timeliness of his appointment gives the appearance of bias. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stood firm on his decision to renew the contract, claiming that Awich has acquitted himself well. Today Attorney-General supported that position somewhat, stating that Justice Awich is certainly not worse than any other judge in the jurisdiction.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Attorney-General

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

“You look at the judgment that he gives and you look at the extent to which those judgments are overturned when they go to the appeal because you have an appeal process you see…the decisions given by the court of Appeal here, you go to the CCJ. I will put my head on the block that there has not been a judgment of Awich that has gone to the Court of appeal so far in Trinidad to the Caribbean Court of Justice and that has been overturned. But I do know of other judges locally whose decisions are overturned over and over and over again by the court of appeal, and not a word is said by the Bar Association…not a single word. That is not the case with Awich. If you look at Awich’s judgments I am sure that he doesn’t have reversal of his decisions more than average in any jurisdiction. But I can tell you that there are judges in our jurisdiction where that is not the case, where reversal is more the norm than the exception, but the Bar Association is completely silent with respect to those judges. So I can say to you that they are not being objective, they are not being to my mind measured…I think there is some other motive…or it’s just…I don’t know, I have been disillusioned with the Bar for so many years, you know…I have said it and I have made it public. But I can tell you, and I am prepared to wager that in fact on the basis of appeals, the performance of Mr. Justice Awich has not been worse than any other judge that I know.”

 

Reporter

“So is that the only measuring stick that was used?”

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

“That is the only measuring stick that you can use for a judge.”

 

Elrington did clarify that a judge can also be removed if his behaviour is deemed disreputable, but in this case it is the legal capacity of Awich, and not his behaviour which is being challenged.

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2 Responses for “Attorney General defends the reappointment of Justice Awich”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Elrington, you know the talk around town is that you too are not all that smart . You are just Jamaican smart like Barrow. Place you and Barrow with your international counterparts, you will come in a distant 100 off first place if we field 101. Get it? So your defense of Awich is hallow and fatuous. You are a dumber ass than I had assessed.

  2. Rod says:

    Elrington is just another link in this corrupt rusty chain of thieves and murderers in this murderous gov.

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