Case details

Ayers-Caesar (Respondent) v Judicial and Legal Service Commission (Appellant) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0091

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary


1. Whether the Court of Appeal was right to find that the first instance judge had erred in refusing to grant the Respondent leave:

  1. to amend her claim; and
  2. to cross-examine the Appellant’s deponents.

2. Whether the Court of Appeal was consequently entitled to substitute its decisions for those of the first instance judge.

3. Whether the Respondent, in oral submissions before the first instance judge on 10 January 2019, had conceded that cross-examination was not necessary, and if so, whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to have regard to that fact.


The Respondent commenced proceedings in respect of her allegedly forced resignation as a High Court Judge The Appellant is the body constitutionally designated to advise the President of Trinidad and Tobago on the appointment of such judges. Initially, the Respondent was granted leave to bring judicial review proceedings challenging the purported decisions of the Appellant (1) to seek her resignation, (2) to recommend to the President that her appointment be revoked if she did not resign, and (3) to treat her resignation as effective, as well as the Appellant’s conduct in allegedly pressuring the Respondent to resign.

The Respondent subsequently sought leave to amend her grounds of judicial review to add one further purported decision, namely to threaten the Respondent with possible investigation in order to procure her resignation. The Respondent also sought leave to cross-examine several of the Appellant’s deponents to resolve conflicts of fact. The first-instance judge refused both applications, and the Respondent successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal.



Judicial and Legal Service Commission


Marcia Ayers-Caesar



Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

13 Nov 2019

Hearing finish date

13 Nov 2019

Watch hearing
13 Nov 2019 Afternoon session