He described the attacks as “spurious” and “unfair”, and reminds the public that the Court “maintains the rule of law and protects our constitutional rights”.
“Without the Court and without the preservation of the respect for judges and the decisions they render, our politically partisan society would fall apart,” Wilkin states in the Bar Association release.
The criticisms are associated with recent politically sensitive cases presently going through the Court system and decisions delivered in the cases. Wilkins warns that comments that bring the Court into disrepute are punishable by law.
“The Court is not above criticism, even strong criticism. However, such criticisms must be fair, based on facts and moderated. Suggestions of bias or misconduct by a judge or any statement which brings the Court into disrepute is contempt of court which is an offence,” wrote Wilkin.
Wilkin included a portion of a statement made by Justice Lorraine Williams on 30th January 2015, when she was welcomed as resident judge for Nevis.
That statement reads in part, “We do not take pledges to support partisan causes or to decide any case according to popular opinion. Justice does not rely on the rhetoric at public rallies, talk shows or opinion polls. It is done in accordance to the law, and the Court should not be brought into public ridicule and contempt because of decisions of the Court that are not in conformity with plans, convenient agendas and opinions of others,” Justice Williams stated.
When persons are dissatisfied with the rulings of judges, the proper course for redress, Justice Williams stated, is through the Court of Appeal, the Caribbean Court of Justice or the Privy Council.
According to Wilkin, the Court plays an important role as a part of government, independent of the legislative branches of government, the Cabinet and the National Assembly.