(Observer)Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh has filed for an interim injunction against the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) as she seeks to challenge disciplinary charges the body has brought against her.
According to a well-placed source, a High Court judge over the weekend began to hear the application whilst Walsh pursues a constitutional claim against the Commission.
Walsh’s lawyers Kenny Kentish, Wendel Robinson, and Leon ‘Chaku’ Symister claim her constitutional rights have been infringed and that she has been denied natural justice.
Walsh was suspended in July following a string of charges emanating from an investigation into complaints about her conduct.
Although details of the charges have not been disclosed, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin has said he will likely recommend a new judge to act as the country’s Chief Magistrate in the interim.
Walsh has faced a number of complaints over the last three years, particularly relating to her treatment of staff and conduct on the bench.
In April 2022, transgender social media personality Washington Bramble filed a complaint to the Commission, alleging misconduct by the Chief Magistrate.
In March this year, the Chief Magistrate took Bramble to court over alleged statements said to have been made online for the purpose of insulting, intimidating, causing hatred, and causing enmity towards her.
Additionally, in October 2022, a case against Walsh whilst serving as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was thrown out of court after the High Court held that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Hildred Simpson, had no authority to initiate an investigation against the Chief Magistrate during her service as DPP.