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Feb 20, 2020

Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay Weighs In on Case of the Bar Against the CJ

On Wednesday night, we reported on the case of the Director of Public Prosecution.  While Cheryl-Lynn Vidal was serving as the President of the Bar Association, she was expelled from meetings held by the Judicial Legal Services Commission, of which she is a member because of her position on the Bar.  Almost two years ago, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin requested Vidal to withdraw herself from one of the commission’s meeting because there was an uncertainty that Vidal, as D.P.P., can be a member of the commission due to her status as a public officer.  The Bar Association subsequently filed a lawsuit against the Chief Justice. Following Wednesday’s court proceedings, the Bar’s attorney, Andrew Marshalleck, told the media that the Constitution makes it clear that the President of the Bar is entitled to be a member of the commission. Marshalleck pointed out that if there were concerns about Vidal, there was the option to appoint an alternate. Today, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay weighed in on the matter, calling the CJ’s legal representation on the matter as unacceptable and egregious. He says, “According to the news last night, the Chief Justice, as Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, and the JLSC were represented by the Attorney General’s Chambers in the case brought by the Bar Association. This is absolutely outrageous as this makes the CJ and the JLSC the client of the AG. The CJ should not be represented by the government in litigation whilst at the same time deciding cases in which the government is a party! The JLSC is supposed to be an independent body, why then is the government representing the Commission? I find this to be unacceptable and egregious.”

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