THE Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) has filed a judicial review application against a decision of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley not to launch an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Chief Justice Ivor Archie.
The LATT is seeking a series of declarations over Rowley’s handling of a report, which recommended that he exercise his discretion under Section 137 of the Constitution to advise the President to investigate the allegations by commencing impeachment proceedings against Archie.
It wants the court to declare that Rowley’s decision was illegal, irrational, unreasonable and was made in bad faith.
The LATT also stated that Rowley’s decision was not made in the performance of his constitutional functions in the public interest and that he took into account irrelevant considerations.
It is seeking an order quashing the decision and another compelling Rowley to reconsider it.
In the legal documents, the association’s lawyers sought to give a brief outline of the history of its involvement with the allegations against Archie. It also detailed Rowley’s decision and his subsequent comments on the issue.
The LATT also criticizes Rowley for his statement that the law suit was political in that it was fueled by a group on United National Congress (UNC) lawyers within the association.
It stated that these claims were in direct contradiction to an assessment of the allegations by the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council when they dismissed Archie’s legal challenge over the association’s probe.
The legal papers stated, “Given his subjective views on the nature and purpose of the Applicant’s Committee report as set out above, the Prime Minister was not capable of properly and fairly determining the question before him in the exercise of a constitutional function in the public interest.
“Rather, he was more concerned to shut down what he considered to be the improper action of the Applicant acting at the alleged behest of the UNC and thereby acted for an improper purpose or motive and/or his decision is vitiated by apparent bias.”
The association is being represented by Dr Lloyd Barnett, Elaine Green, Rishi Dass, Kiel Taklalsingh, Kirk Bengochea, and Imran Ali.