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Bar challenges Bench over Judicial and Legal Services Commission 

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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020. 9:52 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Supreme Court Justice, Michelle Arana, has reserved judgment in a case involving her boss, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, and Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, in her capacity as President of the Bar Association.

Since March of 2018, Vidal has been refused access to meetings of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC), because of alleged conflicts of interest.

Under the Constitution, the President of the Bar must be a member of the Commission, but would be disqualified if he or she was also a member of the National Assembly or a public officer, which the DPP is.

But according to Senior Counsel, Andrew Marshalleck, it was wrong of the Chief Justice to simply dismiss the DPP for the past two years without full explanation, and to preside over meetings at which decisions were made that would impact the Bar without their input.

There were other options, Marshalleck said: an alternate could have been appointed or the DPP could have recused herself from the affected case.

As part of the remedy sought, Marshalleck is asking all these decisions be thrown out as unconstitutional.

 

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