Criminal Bar Association hits judge’s incompetence statement

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds. File photo

THE CRIMINAL Bar Association (CBA) has thrown its support behind the young lawyer who was castigated by a High Court judge earlier this week for the kind of representation to his client.

On Tuesday, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds aborted the trial of a man charged with shooting with intent after she raised concerns about the competence of the man’s attorney.

She also raised concerns about the attorney’s conduct.

In a statement on Thursday, CBA president Israel Khan, SC, called for the judge to retract her comments.

File photo of the Criminal Bar Association president Israel Khan, SC.

The CBA said it found no basis for the judge to consider that the attorney was not competent.

Khan said the CBA was “alarmed” by the decision of the judge to discontinue the trial for the reasons she gave.

He also said any robust disagreement about the law between a judge and a defence attorney did not entitle the judicial officer to make a pronouncement about competence.

The statement said the CBA stood in support of criminal defence attorneys and called on them to file complaints with the association so that it can advocate on their behalf.

“The CBA has been made aware of an alarming trend of inappropriate comments made by a small selected number of magistrates and judges towards criminal defence attorneys.”

The association wants a more respectful working environment between their members and judicial officers while saying it stood firm in its commitment to publicly speak out and hold them to account if they “ever bat outside of their crease.”