Competency of Judges not a Trivial matter


Martin Daly is at least correct in some of these issues. However he does not address the most important issue at stake here – BIAS. What testing does the Judiciary do to minimize any bias among judgements? The biggest skill that is needed when one is promoted from counsel to Magistrate or Judge is to understand the risk that bias introduces in the system. As this blog stated previously – there are lots of research papers that have looked into the issue of bias all over the world and overwhelmingly is that if you are Male, Black and Poor you are going to face a great deal of bias in any western judiciary system. He makes a great deal about Judge Ramcharan who was said to have made comments about women’s anatomies on Twitter, but that is a minor issue. First Ramcharan made no comment about any specific woman – but rather his sexual preferences in general which is a natural human function. His preferences are neither offensive, illegal nor will it go away. But Daly is right about viewing social media of prospective Judges for areas of bias. A vocal feminist should never be a Family Court judge. Family law and family courts have a very long way to go in eliminating bias and their Judges and staff are seriously lacking. Someone who has a strong political position should not be involved in a politically charged case. But examining peoples social media is going to send activists underground. Potential jurists are going to put their livelihoods first to their activism. Religious bias is another serious source of bias – a strongly religious judge should not be involved in a case where there are participants who share strong opposing religious or non religious views.

The Judiciary should be actively measuring bias and pulling jurists into seminars on bias, especially in a diverse society like Trinidad.  The current CJ is a very well known fan of Benny Hinn. What does that say about the competence of the CJ himself? He should be free to hold his religious beliefs – but how can one have confidence in the Judiciary when its leader takes this con-artiste seriously and might be a sign of some underlying mental deficiency? But then we had a PM who was in the same boat. I guess that’s why we are a Banana Republic.


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