Archive | Legal

Former CCJ President to speak at educational seminars ahead of upcoming referendum

Former CCJ President to speak at educational seminars ahead of upcoming referendum

ST. GEORGE’S. Grenada, Sep. 13, CMC – Former President of the Trinidad and Tobago based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron, is scheduled to address two education seminars ahead of the November 6 referendum which is seeking to make the CCJ the island’s final appellate court.

Sir Dennis will be the guest speaker at  the educational activities on September 18, organised by the CCJ Advisory Committee aimed at bringing a better understanding about the work of the Court to the voting population.

Sir Dennis Byron

“He will be engaging the students at TAMCC (T.A. Marryshow Community College) on matters of the CCJ and then we expect him to address the public at the Deluxe cinema on the same day,”  said Senator Norland Cox

Sir Dennis, who has a long history as a regional and international judicial officer demitted his CCJ post in July 2018. He was replaced by Adrian Saunders.

In 1986, as Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Grenada on secondment from the  Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court  Sir Dennis presided over the famous murder trial of the Grenada 17 who were all accused of playing a role in the assassination of then Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and others.

Since launching its promotional activities last month,  members of the CCJ Advisory committee have been engaging in radio and television discussion programmes all aimed at enlightening the voting population about the role of the regional court.

Last week Friday members of the Lower House of Parliament unanimously approved the CCJ  Bill as it went through its first stage of Parliamentary approval.

On Friday, the Bill will be presented in the Upper House for deliberation and approval .

Following this, it must be Gazetted ahead of the referendum.

The law provides for two third of the voting population to vote yes for the constitutional change to occur.

This will be the second time that the CCJ Bill will be voted on a referendum. In 2016, Grenadians voted against the CCJ by a margin of 9,492 in favour and 12,434 voted against.

The  CCJ settles disputes between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States and presently serves as the highest court of appeals on civil and criminal matters for the national courts of Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Court, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

ECSCourt-logo

2018-2019 Law Year Opens September 18

A Release (adapted) from the High Court Registrar’s office on Montserrat on Thursday this week, informs that: On Tuesday,  September 18, 2018, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court will commence the New Law Year 2018/2019 with its usual Ceremonial Opening in the form of a Special Sitting of the Court in Montserrat.  There will be simultaneous special sittings in the other eight (8) Member States and Territories of the OECS.

The proceedings will commence with a church service in each Member State and Territory, followed later by the procession to the High Court where the formal sitting will be held. 

In Montserrat, the Church Service will be held at The St James Anglican Church in Salem, commencing at 8.00 a.m., followed by the inspection of the Guard of Honour and a Mini Parade at the Car Park at Government Headquarters Brades. This will then be followed by the formal Court Sitting which will be held at the High Court at Government Headquarters Brades.

Chief Justice Janice Pereira

The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship, Dame Janice M. Pereira, DBE will deliver the Opening Address at 10:00 a.m. from Saint Christopher & Nevis where the Court of Appeal is scheduled for its first sitting in the New Law Year.

The theme for the opening of the Law Year’s address is “Challenges, Opportunities and Resilience: The ECSC paving the way to a Modern and Efficient Judiciary for the Eastern Caribbean”.

The Chief Justice’s address will be carried live via simulcast to the other Member States and Territories of the OECS and will also be broadcast throughout the region via the local media.

The public is encouraged to participate in the Ceremonial Opening of the Law Year 2018/2019 by attending either the church service or the special sitting or by listening to the events live on ZJB Radio. 

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) was established in 1967 by the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Order No. 223 of 1967.

 It is the superior court of record for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), including six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and three British Overseas Territories (BOTs) Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat. It has unlimited jurisdiction in each member State.

 

 

Posted in Court, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Man charged with air rage, wins appeal

Man charged with air rage, wins appeal

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Aug 21, CMC  – A 53-year-old Bermudian man who was fined US$700 for shouting obscenities at crew members and a family during a flight from London to Bermuda has had his conviction overturned on appeal.

Attorney Peter Sanderson argued that his client, Helder Viera, could not be convicted in Bermuda as there was no proof the offence happened inside the island’s jurisdiction.

Supreme Court Puisne Judge Shade Subair found that under the legislation, the offence had to happen in Bermuda or on a Bermuda-registered aircraft to secure a conviction.

Justice Subair in a written judgement Tuesday said “regrettably, the learned magistrate (Khamisi Tokunbo) was never addressed on this jurisdiction issue.

“The Crown, having brought the charges before the court, clearly did so under a misguided notion that it was well placed to do so. Further, the appellant was not represented by Mr Sanderson in the Magistrates’ Court when he entered his guilty plea.

“The Crown did not present any evidence before the court to prove that any relevant part of the appellant’s offensive conduct occurred in Bermuda and there was no evidence before the court to suggest that the aircraft concerned was registered in Bermuda. For these reasons, the conviction is unsafe,” Justice Subair said.

Viera was arrested on December 31 last year after an incident on board a British Airways flight from Gatwick.

In January, the Magistrates’ Court heard that Viera began to hurl obscenities at a young family with an infant about two hours into the flight. Viera was warned by cabin crew to calm down.

He later pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive, insulting words and threatening behaviour under the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order.

That legislation does extend to Bermuda, but Justice Subair said that offences must happen in Bermuda or over its territorial waters to be prosecuted in the island’s courts.

During Viera’s court case seven months ago Magistrate Tokunbo said the maximum US$1,000 fine for the offence was “peanuts”.

“This penalty encourages people to behave like this,” he added.

Posted in Court, International, Legal, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Former Attorney General urges country to put aside partisan politics ahead of referendum

Former Attorney General urges country to put aside partisan politics ahead of referendum

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, Aug. 16, CMC – Former Attorney General Justin Simon QC, has called on the population to put aside partisan politics in the runup to a referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), scheduled for later this year.

During an interview on state media, Simon this is what he will be pushing while on the trail to promote the Trinidad based CCJ.

Justin Simon

“I am not saying that people will not have their political difference, but let us sink them in respect to this particular cause.”

Simon, who served as AG under a previous administration of the United Progressive Party (UPP), made comments following  calls by the UPP – now the main opposition party, for the referendum to include more than one item in the context of constitutional reform.

However, the former Attorney General believes that the referendum should remain a one issue initiative.

“I am of the strong opinion and view that the CCJ should be dealt with on its own by itself. We look at the experience of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines which placed other issues of constitutional reform on the table and that was rejected,” Simon said.

The London-based Privy Council presently serves as the island’s final court and the referendum on November 6 will allow for the population to indicate whether they intend to join the CCJ that was established in 2001.

While many of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal that interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

CMC/kb/2018

Posted in CARICOM, Education, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Antigua announces “non-stop” campaign ahead of CCJ referendum0

Antigua announces “non-stop” campaign ahead of CCJ referendum0

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Aug 14, CMC – Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has announced the start of a “non-stop campaign” ahead of a referendum vote in November on whether or not Antigua and Barbuda should make the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.

The London-based Privy Council presently serves as the island’s final court and Benjamin said that the referendum on November 6 will allow for the population to indicate whether they intend to join the CCJ that was established in 2001.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin

“We want to make sure Antiguans are brought up to date with the real purpose of the CCJ. So we are starting a campaign, a non-stop campaign from now until the day of the elections.

“I just want to talk with my fellow Antiguans and Barbudans today. Search your soul, search your heart. Are you really independent? Are you really a Caribbean person? How can you say you are independent when you don’t control your Court of Appeal,” Benjamin asked.

Benjamin urged nationals to ensure that they are registered to participate in the referendum, saying that the last date for registration is August 31.

“So you could have your challenges, objections etc. But to get on the final list. The list will be published in October you’ve got to register by the 31st of August this year,” Benjamin said.

The referendum will be held on November 6.

While many of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are signatories to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, only Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana have signed on to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal that interprets the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.

Posted in CARICOM, Education, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional0 Comments

(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

FBI Agent Peter Strzok Fired Over Anti-Trump Text Messages

Ryan J. Reilly

HuffPost
 
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

WASHINGTON ― FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was taken off special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his texts disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered by Justice Department investigators, has been fired from the bureau despite the recommendations of a career FBI official.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said in a statement that Strzok was fired late Friday afternoon despite a FBI career official’s recommendation that Strzok face a 60-day suspension and a demotion.

Goelman called the decision “a departure from typical Bureau practice” and said it contradicted FBI Director Chris Wray’s guarantee that the bureau would follow its regular process, despite Trump’s disdain for the now-former FBI official.

“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans. A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work,” Goelman said. “In fact, in his decades of service, Special Agent Strzok has proved himself to be one of the country’s top counterintelligence officers, leading to only one conclusion ― the decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure, and to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment, not on a fair and independent examination of the facts. It is a decision that produces only one winner ― those who seek to harm our country and weaken our democracy.”

Strzok exchanged texts with former FBI official Lisa Page that disparaged Trump as well as other politicians, including various Democrats. He testified last monthafter the release of an inspector general report on the handling of the FBI’s Hillary Clinton probe that described anti-Trump texts exchanged by bureau officials.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter covering the Justice Department, federal law enforcement, criminal justice and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
 
 
 

Posted in Legal, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Cayman 27 logo 12734012_10153347617667452_5884052807211405229_n

Same Sex Marriage debate: Lord Ahmad rejects imposing on the OTs

UK Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad rejects suggestions of imposing same sex marriages on Overseas Territories like Cayman.
The issue was raised in the House of Lords on Monday (23 July) after a question was posed on the issue. Legislators accused the UK Government of double standards. They said the government imposed beneficial ownership registries on Cayman and other overseas territories yet refuse to do the same for the human rights of the LGBTQ community.Lord Ahmad said the impositon of the registries was “the will of the other place was such that the will of Parliament was upheld by the Government.”

“We would rather not have been in that position. On this issue, we continue to respect the autonomy. However, at the same time, I assure the noble Baroness that we work very progressively. We have seen in recent developments in places such as Bermuda how the courts domestically are reacting to the importance of progressing this issue,” said Lord Ahmad.

Now the UK government made the same vow not to impose public registries, But that changed earlier this year when it came to amending the Sanctions and Anti-Money laundering law. We reached out to the Premier’s Office for comment on this issue. We are yet to hear back.

Posted in International, Legal, Local, News, Police0 Comments

New CCJ President to be honoured with special sitting

New CCJ President to be honoured with special sitting

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jul. 12, CMC – The new president of the Trinidad and Tobago based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders will be honoured on Friday, 13th in the first of two special sittings for the regional court.

Justice Adrian Saunders

Friday’s sitting will be held at the headquarters here , while the second sitting will take place in Saunders’ home country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on July 20.

The new President was installed at a ceremony in Montego Bay, Jamaica  last week.

The special sitting will be attended by members of the legal community and other organisations across the region.

On Friday evening the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) will host a fundraising dinner party to honour the new CCJ President, who is also chairman of the organisation.

Justice  Saunders, a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, graduated from the University of the West Indies , Cave Hill Campus with a Bachelor of Laws degree   in 1975 and a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad & Tobago in 1977.

In 2005,  Justice Saunders was among the first cohort of judges to join the CCJ bench before being elevated to President.

Posted in Court, International, Legal, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Judge to hand down decision on request to strike out case against Opposition Leader

Judge to hand down decision on request to strike out case against Opposition Leader

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, July 13, CMC – A High Court judge will today, Friday, hand down his decision in the Dominica diplomatic passport case brought against Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas by a private citizen.

Justice Trevor Ward’s decision is expected to be delivered at 1:30 p.m.

Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas

Douglas’ lawyers, Anthony Astaphan SC, Delano Bart QC, Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Gracey Sookoo-Bobb, during a two-hour hearing last Friday, asked Justice Ward to strike out a claim by Cuthbert Mills that their client is not qualified to be the Parliamentary Representative for the constituency of St Christopher 6 because he has a Dominica diplomatic passport.

The team submitted a number of reasons why Mills’ claim ought to be struck out in its entirety or, in the alternative, certain paragraphs.

“Our reason for trying to strike out the entire claim is that under Section 36 (4) of the (St Kitts and Nevis) Constitution which allows a challenge to a member of the house who is duly elected but since then there is an allegation arose that challenges his qualification to remain the house, only allows for a single challenge to be brought and in the circumstances where a challenge is brought by a voter, the Attorney General can intervene, however there is no such provision where the Attorney General has first filed and so because of the very strict nature of the section 36 of the Constitution, there is no provision allowing for what is considered a second challenge, particularly given the way that Mr Mills has chosen to prosecute his case,” said Sookoo-Bobb.

The defence team contended that Mills failed to specifically point out what are the laws of Dominica that he alleges amount to Douglas being in allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica as a foreign power.

She also referred to Mills’ attachment, as evidence, of the front page of the St Kitts-Nevis Observer newspaper which he purported to have a copy of Douglas’ diplomatic passport.

“Mr Mills cannot exhibit that document. We argued that it is inadmissible,” said Sookoo-Bobb, who further pointed out that looking at the document there is absolutely no passport number tying his client to the diplomatic passport, and it is an incomplete document seemingly Photoshopped.

Mills also relied on Facebook postings which Douglas’ lawyers described as “hearsay”.

She said it was curious as to how Mills was able to obtain documents which are private and ought to be kept in the custody of the Supervisor of Elections.

Mills submitted a copy of Douglas’ Nomination Paper that was obtained without an order of the High Court in which the National Elections Act specifically states that those documents are to be kept in the private custody of the Supervisor of Elections unless there is a court order allowing disclosure.

“We also challenged the three public officers who are attached to the Immigration Department who went into the immigration system and provided Mr. Mills with Dr. Douglas’ alleged date of travel, the aircraft number that he travelled on and his alleged dominica diplomatic passport number. We thought that is a serious and obscene breach of Dr. Douglas’ right to privacy that public officials can use their positions to retrieve private information about Dr. Douglas and give that to an ordinary citizen for the purposes of bringing what we consider a politically-malicious claim against Dr. Douglas.

“The court should strike out these immediately and they ought not to be in this matter one day longer,” Sookoo said.

Posted in Court, International, Legal, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Diplomatic passport case filed by private citizen - ruled abuse of process

Diplomatic passport case filed by private citizen – ruled abuse of process

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Friday July 13, CMC – Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas scored a legal victory on Friday when a High Court judge threw out a challenge filed by a private citizen to his right to sit in Parliament on the basis of his ownership of a Dominica diplomatic passport.

High Court Judge Trevor Ward ruled that the civil suit brought by Cuthbert Mills “was an abuse of the process”, since it had come after Attorney General Vincent Byron had already filed a similar claim.

Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas celebrates after the ruling.

Mills had submitted a claim that Douglas is not qualified to be the Parliamentary Representative for the constituency of St Christopher 6 because he has a Dominica diplomatic passport. But during a two-hour hearing last Friday, Douglas’ lawyers, Anthony Astaphan SC, Delano Bart QC, Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Gracey Sookoo-Bobb asked the judge for the claim to be struck out.

Sookoo-Bobb told the media after the ruling that Justice Ward had agreed with the former prime minister’s legal team that Mills’ claim amounted to an abuse of the process of the court, having been filed one month after Byron’s claim.

The court ruled that under the constitution, Mills was not allowed to bring a second claim or to intervene.

The issue of cost has been reserved and submissions will be made as to whether or not Mills will pay Douglas’ cost and how much he should pay.

“Those submissions are to be filed by July 19, 2018,” said Sookoo-Bobb.

The case brought by the Attorney General is to be heard on September 28.

Posted in Court, Elections, International, Legal, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Newsletter

Archives