Justice Minister: Time to work
Thursday, September 27 2012
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MOORE JUSTICE: A proud Joseph George gazes intently at his wife Christlyn Moore, shortly after she was sworn in as Justice Minister by Acting Presiden...
SHORTLY after being formally sworn in as Justice Minister yesterday, Christlyn Moore said she will begin work immediately and spend the next few days assessing the state of affairs in the ministry before making any decisions on how to continue the process started by her predecessor Herbert Volney, to reform and modernise the justice system.
Moore was sworn in by Acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith yesterday at Knowsley, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. Speaking after the ceremony, Moore said she has not spoken to Volney but expects to over the course of time.
Volney was dismissed as Justice Minister by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for misleading the Cabinet about the understandings of Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard about moves to proclaim Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011 on August 31.
Moore has been involved in several high-profile matters including lawsuits brought by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and she was a member of the legal team which sent a pre-action protocol letter on behalf of Persad-Bissessar.
Moore said her efficiency of the service she offers, attracts a “certain type of clientele.”
“I have represented numerous people, as it happens the competence of my advice and efficiency of the service I offer has lent itself to attract a certain type of clientele. It is quite telling that among my clients would have been listed the Prime Minister and Attorney General...not many attorneys can boast of a clientele august,” Moore said.
Moore assured her background in criminal law was “firm and entrenched”. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said on Tuesday that when the Ministry of Justice was created, the criminal portfolio was assigned to the ministry.
“I practiced exclusively at the criminal bar for a number of years. It is the criminal bar of which my advocacy skills were honed,” Moore said. She added that she also practiced before Volney in his capacity as a High Court judge. Before answering questions from the media, Moore read a statement from her iPad — a tablet computer — where she expressed her intention to bring honour to the appointment and the office. During the ceremony, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said Moore was the first person born in Tobago who would be sitting on a National Security Council.
She said Moore was acutely aware of the shortcomings that plague the administration of justice and the challenges to reverse this. Persad-Bissessar welcomed Moore as “another sister” into the fold of the Cabinet and expressed confidence that she would discharge her portfolio with integrity, efficiency and decorum. Leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and Minority Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Ashworth Jack who was at the swearing in ceremony, dismissed claims that Moore’s appointment was to bolster the TOP in the Tobago House of Assembly’s election constitutionally due next year. “The fact that another person from Tobago has the potential to be invited to Cabinet should be seen as a joining together of the islands,” he said.