The Jamaican Bar Association has called on Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte to publicly withdraw statements made on her official Twitter account demeaning a ruling from the Supreme Court earlier this week.
The council, in a statement on Friday (July 24), noted with concern the stance taken by Malahoo Forte, which seems to “undermine public confidence in the judiciary and the rule of law”.
“For an attorney-at-law, particularly the Attorney General of Jamaica, who is designated under Section 79 of the Constitution of Jamaica to be the ‘principal legal advisor to the Government of Jamaica’ and therefore can be deemed to be stating views of the Government of Jamaica when making such statements, is deeply concerning,” the bar association noted.
“We call upon the learned Attorney General to publicly withdraw such utterances and to publicly support our system of justice from which all Jamaicans benefit,” the statement continued.
Malahoo Forte, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, slammed a Supreme Court ruling which saw the continued detention of five men under the powers of the States of Public Emergency (SOEs) declared unconstitutional.
As a result of the order by Justice Bertram Morrison, the five men are to be taken to the Supreme Court on Monday to be released.
“If ever our #CourtsofLaw cease to be guided by, or apply the law and instead become courts of public opinion, special interest, personal interest or anything less [than] therein lies the biggest threat to our democracy!” the Attorney General tweeted.
See a screenshot of the tweet below:
Malahoo Forte’s rhetoric triggered public condemnation, however, the tweet has not been deleted.
The Jamaican Bar Association further argued that the promotion and upholding of public confidence of the judiciary and the sanctity of judicial rulings is of central importance to Jamaica’s entire justice system.