PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
“That several members of her People’s Partnership administration have had a past history in politics and social activism as defenders and upholders of the rule of law and the independence and separations of all the time honoured Estates of a Democratic State as Trinidad and Tobago.
In fact, as individual professionals in the legal and other spheres, publicly elected parliamentary representatives of the citizens over the past ten years and political and social activists, several members of the People’s Partnership Government and Cabinet, including the Honourable Prime Minister herself, often, through public statements and legal action, came to the staunch defence of the rule of law and were strong proponents of the independence of the judiciary, especially during the trying times of the historic, unfortunate and illegal move of the former Patrick Manning PNM regime to impeach the former chief justice Satnarine Sharma.
It is in this context that the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar wishes to indicate that she considers the statements made by Minister of Justice Herbert Volney during his contribution to the budget debate on Thursday, September 16th, 2010, as unfortunate, and unnecessary but may have been made in the context of a first time budget debate for the Honourable Minister and therefore, may have been simply over-enthusiastic. The Honourable Prime Minister wishes to further reinforce the fact that the views expressed by Minister Volney reflect his personal opinion and in NO WAY is the official position of the Prime Minister or the People’s Partnership Government regarding its perception, attitude or policy concerning the judicial arm of the State and indeed, the Honorable Chief Justice himself.
The Honourable Prime Minister wishes to note that in Minister Volney’s contribution, he had in fact stated his ministry’s intent to consult with the Honourable Chief Justice on matters concerning the administration of justice, thereby recognising himself the independence of the judiciary and the necessity for his ministry to give this body its full cooperation and due respect. The Honourable Prime Minister further wishes to emphasis that her People’s Partnership Government understands the importance and value of a good working relationship with the judiciary to improve the administration of justice for the benefit and greater good of all our citizens and our society. To this end, the government is committed to fulfilling its obligations, including providing appropriate housing accommodation for the Honourable Chief Justice and members of the judiciary.
The Honourable Prime Minister is thus confident that members of the judiciary will recognise these realities in their infinite wisdom and maturity, and ensure a continued receptive, cordial and professional relationship between the Government and the judiciary.”