Law Association Butts Head with CJ

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By Neela Ramsundar

THE 2022/2023 law term began with a bang on Monday, September 19th 2022. The Law Association (LATT), a body responsible for, among other things, looking after the interests of the legal profession, is rearing its head over “challenges by members wishing to access the services of the Judiciary.”

LATT recently released to its membership its strongly worded 13-page letter dated September 14, 2022, addressed to the Chief Justice Ivor Archie detailing complaints of the legal profession and setting out its attempts to seek resolution of these complaints, dating as far back as July 2020. This is against a backdrop where the civil courts housed at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, have been moved to Tower D of the International Waterfront Centre (now called “The Waterfront Judicial Centre”) with effect from September 14, 2022.

The vast majority of complaints encompass physical closure of the court buildings. The list includes:

  • Despite lawyers being provided with telephone and email contact information for court personnel necessary for the performance of legal work, those same court personnel regularly do not respond to requests for information, which result in delays in Attorneys progressing their clients work;


  • Lawyers not having physical access or having restricted access to the Law Libraries to permit them to carry out necessary research for client cases etc. Despite the same being funded by taxpayers money, the Judiciary responded indicating it was a Judge’s Library and intimated the Judiciary is considering restricting the previous access the bar enjoyed, after noting the weighty demands placed on it due to the “tremendous growth of the bar”.


  • Excessive delays experienced within the Probate Registry to process applications for grants of Probate and Letters of Administration.


  • Disproportionately lengthy closure of the Hall of Justice to treat with Covid-19 outbreaks when comparatively, there is unrestricted access to other state agencies in similar circumstances.


  • Continued closure of the Family Court.


The said letter stated: “We are informed that our members’ clients are hard pressed to accept that their matters are not being progressed for want of improved access to certain services of the Judiciary.” LATT complained bitterly that it has issued a plethora of letters to the Judiciary and the absence of a response to most of the correspondence is indicative of an unacceptable pattern of conduct towards LATT, and by extension, the public whom its members represent.

LATT further stated the absence of response from the Judiciary continues to erode public trust and confidence in its services and undermines the promise of accountability that the Judiciary has promised.

LATT called on the Judiciary to justify the continued closure of its buildings within 14 days of the date of its letter. I shall keep AZP News readers updated on this developing story. Be safe T&T.

Copyright © 2022 Neela Ramsundar, LL.B (HONS), L.E.C is a Civil Litigation Attorney at Law & Certified Mediator.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for general informational purposes only and/or contain the opinions and/or thoughts of the writer only. It does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. For legal advice on your specific situation, please contact an Attorney-at-Law of your choosing directly. Liability for any loss or damage of any kind whatsoever allegedly incurred as a consequence of relying on content in this article is thus hereby excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.


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