The pronouncement made by Reginald Armour after the PNM were defeated in the Privy Council today is one of the most dangerous statements ever uttered by an Attorney General who isn’t part of a dictatorial regime.
Any attempt by an Attorney General to handpick certain comments from a minority ruling of a Judgement, or a ruling that has been reversed in an Appeal, simply on the merits that it fits with their own personal narrative rather than abide by the substantive ruling of the MAJORITY MEMBERS OF THE PANEL is not only unethical and corrupt, but it only indicates that Mr Armour is determined to make up his own interpretation of the law even when it conflicts with a Court ruling.
We are all still aware that Mr Armour was not only removed from the Court in Miami for his personal interpretations of the Judicial Code of Conduct, but further embarrassed himself, the Office of the Attorney General, the PNM Government and Trinidad and Tobago as a State when he mounted his feeble appeal of the decision.
Here today, Mr Armour attempts to misinterpret and misrepresent the Ruling of the Privy Council in a similar manner, but only causes further embarrassment to all involved.
The fact that Mr Armour attempts to extrapolate a majority ruling using the Judges who presided over all three levels of trial would be a joke if it didn’t come at the expense of potentially undermining the Democratic processes of this country and disenfranchising its citizens.
The only interpretation of any consequence in the Privy Council is the majority ruling of Lord Richards, Lord Reed and Lord Hodge, who unequivocally RULED AGAINST THE JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT OF APPEAL. I quote from the Privy Council Ruling directly, as the final words of the Majority Ruling:
“51. For the reasons given in this judgment, THE BOARD IS UNABLE TO AGREE WITH THE COURT OF APPEAL that the amendments to sections 11 and 12 of the MCA, increasing terms of office from three to four years, applied to the incumbent Councillors and Aldermen. The Board therefore allows the appeal.”
But what’s worse is the fact that the Privy Council also commented that the COURT OF APPEAL CATEGORICALLY REJECTED THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE PNM DIDN’T AFFECT THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS OF OUR CITIZENS, when they stated:
“44. Although the respondents have submitted that democratic rights, unless embodied in the Constitution, are not of such significance as to attract this approach to construction, this was not accepted, rightly in our view, by the Court of Appeal.”
Paragraph 44 continues to explain the position of both the Privy Council and the Court of Appeal in more detail.
So when Reginald Armour attempts to validate the Court of Appeals ruling simply because it aligns with his own misunderstanding of the Legislation, IT IS INCORRECT FOR HIM TO SUGGEST THAT EITHER THE COURT OF APPEAL OR THE PRIVY COUNCIL SHARES IN HIS DELUSION.
And any suggestion by the Attorney General that he will ignore the majority and instead focus on the minority ruling when he makes his recommendations to Cabinet is DANGEROUS to the point of bordering on ILLEGALITY and TREACHERY.
I will continue to monitor the situation along with my legal representation to ensure that the PNM adheres to the Privy Council ruling and the Local Government Election is called post haste. Because the day that PNM decides to ignore the Highest Court in the Land for their own benefit is the day that Trinidad and Tobago has actually become a DICTATORSHIP under the PNM!
Ravi Balgobin Maharaj
Mob: +1 868 476-6181