Senior Counsel appointments reek of political bias says former AG

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Following the announcement today ( Saturday December 31, 2016) of Senior Counsel appointments by President David Granger, after two decades, former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister under the previous administration, Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall has expressed shock in the manner in which these were made.

In a statement to the media, Nandlall said “these appointments were obviously done in a very opaque fashion. Some of the appointments reek of political bias and baseless favouritism.”

According to him persons deserving were spitefully and discriminatory omitted.

He pointed to the fact that a sitting Judge was appointed. This, he noted runs contrary to “every canon of practice and precedent which dictates that Senior Counsels must be practicing lawyers, for this reason the Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago, Ivor Archie, was forced to relinquish his appointment as Senior Counsel because he was a Judge and not a practicing lawyer when he was appointed.”

Another case in point Nandlall cited was that of Kamala Persaud -Bissessar , who was forced to do likewise because at the time of her appointment as Senior Counsel, she was the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

According to the former AG, the omissions are equally glaring and questioned what basis was the current DPP, Shalimar Hack, omitted.

What consultations if any were done, Nandlall questioned further.

The slide into authoritarianism by Government, he expressed, is moving faster than anticipated.

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