It is with a great measure of relief that I may properly describe Mr Charles Ramson as the outgone Minister of Legal Affairs. What a guy!
I had hoped that my letter to you of October 14, 2011 would be the final occasion on which the mention of his goodly name would feature in my correspondence which you have faithfully and graciously published. Well, it was not to be so. I had referred in that letter to the two abortive attempts by that minister to bring into legal operation the provisions of the Deeds Registry Authority Act 1999 while ignoring the dictates of Parliament that he should first settle the matter of retention and emoluments of the Registry staff before ordering the commencement of the Act.
As an intelligent fellow, he knew he had made a sorry mess of things, so on the eve of his impending departure he engineered a third Order following those of November 13, 2010, and March 19, 2011. I pause for fresh air!
On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, I met and had a most refreshing meeting at his invitation with Mr Anil Nandlall, the new Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs. I followed that meeting with a brief note to the new Minister urging him to make at the outset an urgent decision on the present legal status of the Deeds Registry having regard to the questionable quality and legal effect of the second Order No. 4 of 2011 published in the Gazette of March 19, 2011. That note was delivered to the new Minister only yesterday, Monday 12th inst.
You may therefore imagine my horror when at about 4 am yesterday I discovered among a bundle of recent issues of the Gazette an Extraordinary issue dated November 30, 2011 bearing Order No. 54 of 2011, declaring the 1st day of December, 2011 as the day on which the Act shall come into force and, you may guess, revoking the more recent Order No. 4 of 2011. The second abortion?
There is something known as a Parthian Shot after the habit of the ancient Parthians of Persia who had established the habit of discharging missiles at the enemy even at they fled in defeat.
The outgone minister did just that by a Notice dated November 25, 2011 three days before the national elections that ominously brought about his departure from office. A virtual live grenade thrown into the lap of his successor.
It is now left to the new Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs to sort out the mess and tell us urgently where we are as we seek to conduct our business with the Deeds Registry and to inform the Deeds Registry where it stands as a legal entity within our community.
Leon O Rockcliffe