Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Response of Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Colm Imbert to Pre –Action Protocol Letter dated May 12th 2024

I refer to your pre-action protocol letter dated 12’h May 2024 addressed to the Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Colm Imbert, setting out the grounds of your client’s proposed claim for judicial review challenging the appointment of an Investigation Team approved by Cabinet.
I instruct Messrs. Douglas Mendes s.c. and Mr. Simon de la Bastide who act as Counsel on behalf of the Cabinet in respect of the proposed legal action at caption. In your letter you claim in various iterations that the appointment of the Investigation Team (“the Investigation Team”) and the investigation which it has been tasked with performing (“the Investigation”) are unconstitutional in that they contravene sections 121 and 136 of the Constitution.
In support of her claim that the appointment of the Investigation Team and the Investigation contravene section 136 of the Constitution, your client contends that by virtue of the provisions of that section the actions and conduct of the Auditor General in relation to her constitutional and statutory duties may only be investigated if such an investigation is carried out pursuant to and in accordance with those provisions. For the reasons stated in this letter that contention is devoid of any merit.
Section 136 of the Constitution provides for the removal of the Auditor General from office by the President of the Republic on the advice of a Tribunal set up by the President under section 136 to enquire into allegations of inability to discharge the functions of office whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause, or for misbehavior, either at the initiative of the President or upon a representation by the Prime Minister.