Attorney Christlyn Moore was sworn in as the new Justice Minister in the People’s Partnership government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, less than a week after her predecessor Herbert Volney was sacked for providing “erroneous advice” to the government on the early implementation of certain clauses of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.
Moore, a criminal lawyer from the sister isle of Tobago, said she was pleased that a woman of “incredible strength and character” as Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, had appointed her to serve in the Cabinet.
She said she regarded her appointment as “an opportunity to serve Trinidad and Tobago” and brushed aside concerns that she had been the private attorney to both the Prime Minister and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Media reports indicate that Moore has been involved in several high-profile matters including lawsuits brought by Ramlogan against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley for defamatory statements allegedly made at a media conference last year relating to the extradition of businessmen Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.
She also served as legal counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into the July 27, 1990 coup attempt by the leader of the Jamaat Al Muslimeen Group, Yasin Abu Bakr and was one of the attorneys who issued a pre-action protocol letter to former Urban Development Corporation (UDeCOTT) Chief Operating Officer Neelanda Rampaul, on behalf of Ramlogan.
She was a member of the legal team which sent a pre-action protocol letter on behalf of the Prime Minister to Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds in August 2011, with respect to statements made about the prime minister and the Integrity Commission regarding her stay at the home of businessman Ralph Gopaul.
In a 30-minute address to the nation last Thursday night, Prime Minister Persad Bissessar said she had dismissed Volney, a former High Court judge, because he had misled the Cabinet when he said that the Chief Justice Ivor Archie and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Roger Gaspard had supported the idea of the early proclamation of section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act. (CMC /Nation News)