Proper procedure ‘not followed’

Magistrates are public officers and are subject to the disciplinary procedures as set out under the Public Service Act, says trade union boss, Caswell Franklyn.

Responding to a story in the Weekend Nation where a 22-year-old man wrote a letter of complaint against a magistrate close to a year ago but said he was still confused as to if the correct disciplinary procedure was followed and if the investigation was concluded, Franklyn, the head of the Unity Workers’ Union, outlined the procedure as set out in the Act and said based on what he read the procedure was not followed.

“The procedure, as set out in the Public Service Act, clearly states that the permanent secretary or the head of the department, in this case, the registrar, within 14 days of becoming aware of misconduct of a serious nature on the part of an officer, investigates the matter; and if the authorised office is of the opinion that the public interest requires that the officer should cease forthwith to perform the functions of his office during the investigation, the permanent secretary or head of department, may suspend the officer on full pay for the purpose of carrying out the investigation and immediately inform the Judicial & Legal Services Commission through the Chief Personnel Officer (now the Director General Human Resources) of the suspension”.

He added that the Chief Justice “should not be aware of the complaint until it comes before him”.

“He would then make a representation to the president that disciplinary charges be brought based on the information sent by the registrar. The president would decide it and then there would be a hearing by a panel of three which includes an attorney and two others to determine if the magistrate is guilty or not. If he is guilty the panel would recommend penalties which are set out in the Public Service Act which includes – suspension on half pay for a period not in excess of six months, reduction in rank; suspension of future increments for a period not exceeding two years; reprimand in writing, compulsory retirement or dismissal.”

Franklyn further indicated that the complainant would be summoned to give evidence before the panel.

The post Proper procedure ‘not followed’ appeared first on

Leave a Reply