CJ Ivor Archie appoints current Grenada’s Solicitor General Karen Reid-Ballantyne as Deputy Solicitor General, bypassing four very senior Assistant Solicitor Generals… these senior attorneys will now be reporting to a Deputy Solicitor General who is very much their junior by many years!
The Judicial and Legal Services Commission headed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie has appointed Karen Reid-Ballantyne, Grenada’s Solicitor General as the new Deputy Solicitor General.
According to a very close source in the Solicitor General’s Office, Reid-Ballantyne, who was admitted to the Bar in 2003, is now being groomed to replace outgoing Solicitor General Carol Hernandez, who is soon to proceed on pre-retirement leave.
The current Deputy Solicitor General is Karlene Seenath who has over 25 years’ experience in the department and is the most senior officer after Hernandez. The question that staffers are now asking is whether or not this new Deputy Solicitor General will be elevated to Solicitor General upon Hernandez’s retirement.
Reid-Ballantyne worked as a junior officer in the Solicitor General’s office a few years ago and left to take up an appointment in the OECS and her last appointment was Solicitor General in Grenada.
Reid-Ballantyne’s appointment means that the Archie-led JSCL has bypassed four very senior Assistant Solicitor Generals who were interviewed by the JSLC; Karen Boodan and Nadine Nabbie, both Assistant Solicitor General and Rachael Thurab and Sajiv Lalla, both Acting Solicitor General in favor of a much junior attorney. These senior attorneys will now be reporting to a Deputy Solicitor General who is very much their junior by many years.
What were the reason(s) that these very senior, dedicated and experienced Officers, who are overworked and underpaid, were bypassed?
The Archie-led JLSC continues to give preference to persons who have worked in the Eastern Caribbean Islands as opposed to those who stayed in the Trinidad and Tobago service, including Archie who was the Solicitor General in the Cayman Islands before he was appointed a Judge in 1998.
Reid-Ballantyne was Grenada’s Solicitor General for less than a year and had many short stints in other very small jurisdictions like Tortola, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos.
Solicitor General Hernandez had recommended to the JLSC that there are very experienced and competent Attorneys within the department to fill this very senior position but Archie and the JLSC decided not to follow the Solicitor General’s recommendation.
By Capil Bissoon