Do what is appropriate and withdraw your statements.
That’s the call issued to Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, by members of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT), after she attacked attorneys who allegedly supported the Attorney General Reginald Armour, in a special meeting, claiming they did so in order to be protect their state briefs and board appointments.
In a media release on Friday, the association said, “The LATT is not a political party, nor are our statutory objectives political ones. As such, we call upon the Leader of the Opposition to do what is appropriate and withdraw her statements.”
On Monday, Persad-Bissessar named attorneys who spoke in support of AG Armour, another senior counsel, at a special general meeting of the association on July 15.
The meeting was called to vote on a motion of no confidence in Armour as AG and for him to resign because of his conduct in the State’s civil-forfeiture case involving the Piarco airport corruption case in Miami.
In the media release, the association said votes and comments at such meetings are confidential and the naming of who voted and how they voted violated that trust which, it said, may negatively affect young attorneys.
“The council of the LATT was therefore surprised and disappointed that the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, an attendee, not only made public how certain members had indicated they were going to vote, but singled out certain members for an unseemly public attack, attributing the most dishonourable of motives to them for the position they took.”
The association added, “The attempt at the public shaming of our respected members by the Leader of the Opposition could only have a regrettably chilling effect, especially on younger members, of discouraging freedom of expression in future debates. We take no issue with any principled criticism of the position taken by the majority voting at the meeting.
“What is beyond the pale is the personal vilification of individual members by the holder of a high constitutional office. We remind members that the LATT will stand firm in carrying out its duties under the Act which includes, among other things, the protection and representation of the interests of its members.