THE BROTHER of Christine Kangaloo, the Minister of Legal Affairs, was yesterday sworn in as a temporary High Court Judge by President George Maxwell Richards, triggering mixed reactions from both political and judicial circles.
No members of the press were invited to see Colin Bernard Kangaloo, who is also the brother of Court of Appeal Judge Justice Wendell Kangaloo, take the Judges’ Oath at President’s House, St Ann’s at about 11am.
Justice Colin Kangaloo, whose father was a lawyer, was called to the bar 14 years ago. He was made partner in the firm Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith and Morgan in 2000. A graduate of the University of the West Indies, he currently tutors at the Hugh Wooding Law School and is a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
Kangaloo has practiced in the areas of civil law, land law, telecommunications, product liability, constitutional law, contract law, information technology, money laundering, banking and insurance law. The one-time dentistry student is married to Nadia Kangaloo, also a lawyer. He has presented papers on money laundering and the Electronic Transfer of Funds Act.
But UNC Chief Executive Senator Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday greeted Kangaloo’s appointment with serious concern. “This is dangerous,” he said. “The Judiciary must never be seen to be a family affair. Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. His sister is a member of the PNM hierarchy. How would that be perceived by the general public?”
On January 30, Gopeesingh had raised objection to Kangaloo’s appointment in the Senate. Asked whether family relations were irrelevant in light of an individual’s qualifications, Gopeesingh, whose own brother the late Lloyd Gopeesingh was once the Ag Chief Justice, said that it was all about appearances.
But Vice President of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago Hendrickson Seunath SC had no objections to the latest appointment, saying, “people with due qualifications should be given the posts... One would have preferred to see someone with more experience but he is a bright young man.” Kangaloo took the oath in the presence of Acting Chief Justice Roger Hamel-Smith yesterday.
Also taking the oath and swearing to “bear true faith and allegiance to Trinidad and Tobago...without fear or favour” was Ronnie Boodoosingh. Boodoosingh has been course director at Hugh Wooding Law School since 2001 and has practised in both civil and criminal law. He was called to the bar in 1992 and worked as a Senior State Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Judicial appointments are made under Section 104 of the Constitution. Judges are appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (JLSC). The Chief Justice may advise the President that the business of the courts require more judges be appointed.
Now notice wa Hendrickson said eh ? It is highlighted in red just in case you cyah fockin see.
This is how the fockin PNM getting dey claws into Judiciary. Notice dey get rid of Sharma and now set up man Roger is now in charge. They fockin only bringin in more PNMites in the fockin thing to fock up all dem fellas in the UNC after Dookeran (that flying cont) hand the PNM the next election.
Next thing yuh go hear Manning win a constitutional majority and its off to the CCJ.
Coolies cooked in fockin Trinbago.