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Cassell refused bid for an Order of unfair dismissal against the Governor

Norman Cassell was appointed the airport manager of John Alfred Osborne airport, formerly Geralds airport, from 1999. He was dismissed in June 2010 by His Excellency Governor Waterworth. Cassell since sought and failed to obtain an Order for Judicial Review.

Cassell sought in his claim to the High Court to reverse the decision of the Public Service Commission and/or the Governor to dismiss him from his position as Airport Manager.

In another case of wrongful dismissal/retirement, the judgment came just this past week following a trial that was held in April 2012. High Court of Montserrat Acting Justice Septimus Rhudd dismissed the claim brought by the former airport Manager.

In his claim Cassell sought an Order an Order declaring the decision of the Public Service Commission and/or the Governor ultra vires, null and void sought also an Order of no effect.  Cassell ultimately requested the court to reinstate him as Airport Manager.

Attorney-at-Law for the Claimant Leon “Chaku” Symister argued generally that the disciplinary hearing that was conducted was irregular and unfair in that the Claimant had never been informed about any specific allegation of misconduct; and that the hearing was held without any investigation leading to the charge of misconduct, although this was recommended by the Governor’s Commission of inquiry.  The Attorney further argued that once the Governor accepted the PSC’s recommendation, the hearing should have proceeded in accordance with the procedures set out in the PSC Regulations and could not treat the Claimant’s alleged misconduct as one warranting dismissal.  According to Symister, such dismissal was therefore irrational.

In response the Crown represented by Sherree Jemmotte-Rodney, argued that the Governor was not obliged under the provisions of the Montserrat Constitution to follow recommendations made by the PSC, but rather was at liberty to make a decision unlike that which had been recommended to him.

In delivering a 40 page Judgment, acting Judge Rhudd held that the Public Service Commission was not legally obligated to follow the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission and that “Any insistence that the Governor must act on the PSC’s recommendations would amount to a usurpation of his constitutionally bestowed powers and authority.”  The learned Judge also found that there were no proper bases for concluding that the manner of the Claimant’s dismissal as Airport Manager breached the rules of natural justice.

The Judge dismissed Cassell’s claim and ordered him to pay the Defendant’s prescribed costs in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Norman Cassell was appointed the airport manager of John Alfred Osborne airport, formerly Geralds airport, from 1999. He was dismissed in June 2010 by His Excellency Governor Waterworth. Cassell since sought and failed to obtain an Order for Judicial Review.

Cassell sought in his claim to the High Court to reverse the decision of the Public Service Commission and/or the Governor to dismiss him from his position as Airport Manager.

In another case of wrongful dismissal/retirement, the judgment came just this past week following a trial that was held in April 2012. High Court of Montserrat Acting Justice Septimus Rhudd dismissed the claim brought by the former airport Manager.

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In his claim Cassell sought an Order an Order declaring the decision of the Public Service Commission and/or the Governor ultra vires, null and void sought also an Order of no effect.  Cassell ultimately requested the court to reinstate him as Airport Manager.

Attorney-at-Law for the Claimant Leon “Chaku” Symister argued generally that the disciplinary hearing that was conducted was irregular and unfair in that the Claimant had never been informed about any specific allegation of misconduct; and that the hearing was held without any investigation leading to the charge of misconduct, although this was recommended by the Governor’s Commission of inquiry.  The Attorney further argued that once the Governor accepted the PSC’s recommendation, the hearing should have proceeded in accordance with the procedures set out in the PSC Regulations and could not treat the Claimant’s alleged misconduct as one warranting dismissal.  According to Symister, such dismissal was therefore irrational.

In response the Crown represented by Sherree Jemmotte-Rodney, argued that the Governor was not obliged under the provisions of the Montserrat Constitution to follow recommendations made by the PSC, but rather was at liberty to make a decision unlike that which had been recommended to him.

In delivering a 40 page Judgment, acting Judge Rhudd held that the Public Service Commission was not legally obligated to follow the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission and that “Any insistence that the Governor must act on the PSC’s recommendations would amount to a usurpation of his constitutionally bestowed powers and authority.”  The learned Judge also found that there were no proper bases for concluding that the manner of the Claimant’s dismissal as Airport Manager breached the rules of natural justice.

The Judge dismissed Cassell’s claim and ordered him to pay the Defendant’s prescribed costs in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules.