Why was Queen's Counsel Karl Hudson-Phillips silent on Section 34 but vocal on the CLICO brief accepted by Law Association president Seenath Jairam?
That was the question asked yesterday by former Law Association president Dana Seetahal, SC.
Seetahal said she found it curious that Hudson-Phillips had lots to say about the CLICO brief accepted by Jairam to lead the counsel for the Ministry Finance in the CLICO/HCU commission of enquiry, but said nothing on the Section 34 fiasco.
In a telephone interview with the Express, she also said it was peculiar that a letter and private conversation between Hudson-Phillips and Jairam were made public.
"If we are to take him seriously about ethics and convention and so, then should he (Hudson-Phillips) be making these matters public in the way that it has been done?" asked Seetahal.
Hudson-Phillips on Thursday sent a letter to Jairam, slamming his (Jairam's) conduct as president of the Law Association for accepting the State brief for the CLICO/HCU commission of enquiry.
Hudson-Phillips, a former Law Association president, criticised Jairam in the letter and accused him of "conduct short of the best traditions of the Bar" for accepting the State brief.
Jairam returned the brief on October 4—ten days after he had accepted it.
Junior Counsel Joseph Toney, chairman of the Congress of the People (CoP), also returned the brief given by the ministry.
The previous team of Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein and Michael Quamina was fired on October 5, by e-mail, without reasons being given.
Seetahal said Hudson-Phillips's criticism of Jairam's ethics in the profession and conventions ought not to be aired in the media.
"The letter sent to Mr Jairam, however it got to the press, I find that was particularly egregious. It's a private letter, and I would imagine that Mr Hudson-Phillips caused it to be printed in the press. So I find that is peculiar," she said.
"In addition to that, a private conversation that he had with him before elections, I found that a private conversation had no business being put out in the public domain. And if Mr Hudson-Phillips caused it to be done, I think that if you are talking about conventions and ethics in the profession on one hand, then should you Mr Hudson Phillips be putting these things out in the public domain?" she asked.
Seetahal said she also found it peculiar Hudson-Phillips did not comment on the controversies surrounding the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, which led to the firing of Justice Minister Herbert Volney.
"I would have thought that the more significant fiasco of Section 34 would have attracted Mr Hudson Phillips's comments, but I did not see comments from him in the last three weeks. So I guess he has his priorities differently to how I would have it," she said.