Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Opposition members move to bar Dominican lawyer

CASTRIES, St .Lucia, Mar 10, CMC – Two members of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) are asking the High Court to prevent Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan from appearing on behalf of the Constituency Boundaries Commission (CBC) whose recommendations for increased constituency boundaries are being challenged.

Opposition legislator, Guy Joseph, who was granted an ex-parte injunction last month preventing the Governor General from signing the report into law, wants the High Court to bar the Dominican-born attorney as appearing on behalf of the CBC because of alleged bias.

Astaphan’s role as the counsel for the Commission is also being challenged by Commission member Leonne Theodore-John because of his “long standing relationship” with the Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and Commission Chairman Peter Foster.

Joseph has applied to the High Court for an Order restraining Astaphan, from acting on behalf of the Commission and for the Commission to be independently represented in the case “by counsel who is not connected with any of the political parties or with any of the parties” involved in the case.

Joseph has named the Commission, the prime minister as well as the attorney general, who is representing the Governor General as respondents.

Astaphan earlier appeared in court representing the Prime Minister and the Governor General, but according to Joseph’s application, he was now representing the Electoral and Boundaries Commission as well.

Joseph contends that following the February 27 court hearing of his injunction, Astaphan had indicated that for the purposes of the day’s proceedings only, he would be representing the Commission.

But he said his attorney, Gareth Patterson Q.C. had promptly admonished Astaphan that in his view neither Astaphan nor lawyers from Commission chairman Peter Foster’s chambers “could properly appear on the Commission’s behalf since the Commission must be independently represented”.

But Joseph said that following the February 27 hearing, Astaphan at a meeting with the members of the Commission, excluding Foster, declared that he would prefer to act for the Commission and advised the Commissioners of the concerns raised by Patterson and as a result he would arrange for other counsel to represent the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

But Joseph said that during a television interview later Astaphan made “a very partisan presentation in response to statements attributed to the United Workers Party concerning the court proceedings, in which he stated that he, Astaphan, was Counsel for the Commission”.

Joseph noted Theodore-John has since written to Foster and other members of the Commission registering her strong objection to Astaphan acting as counsel for the Commission, since he was “conflicted by reason of having accepted instructions to act for the Honourable Prime Minister and Her Excellency, the Governor General” and also by virtue of his “long standing relationship with the Honourable Prime Minister and your good self Mr. Chairman.”

Efforts to get Astaphan to respond to the latest allegations have so far proven futile.

 

Comments are closed.

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

CASTRIES, St .Lucia, Mar 10, CMC – Two members of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) are asking the High Court to prevent Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan from appearing on behalf of the Constituency Boundaries Commission (CBC) whose recommendations for increased constituency boundaries are being challenged.

Opposition legislator, Guy Joseph, who was granted an ex-parte injunction last month preventing the Governor General from signing the report into law, wants the High Court to bar the Dominican-born attorney as appearing on behalf of the CBC because of alleged bias.

Astaphan’s role as the counsel for the Commission is also being challenged by Commission member Leonne Theodore-John because of his “long standing relationship” with the Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and Commission Chairman Peter Foster.

Insert Ads Here

Joseph has applied to the High Court for an Order restraining Astaphan, from acting on behalf of the Commission and for the Commission to be independently represented in the case “by counsel who is not connected with any of the political parties or with any of the parties” involved in the case.

Joseph has named the Commission, the prime minister as well as the attorney general, who is representing the Governor General as respondents.

Astaphan earlier appeared in court representing the Prime Minister and the Governor General, but according to Joseph’s application, he was now representing the Electoral and Boundaries Commission as well.

Joseph contends that following the February 27 court hearing of his injunction, Astaphan had indicated that for the purposes of the day’s proceedings only, he would be representing the Commission.

But he said his attorney, Gareth Patterson Q.C. had promptly admonished Astaphan that in his view neither Astaphan nor lawyers from Commission chairman Peter Foster’s chambers “could properly appear on the Commission’s behalf since the Commission must be independently represented”.

But Joseph said that following the February 27 hearing, Astaphan at a meeting with the members of the Commission, excluding Foster, declared that he would prefer to act for the Commission and advised the Commissioners of the concerns raised by Patterson and as a result he would arrange for other counsel to represent the Prime Minister and the Governor General.

But Joseph said that during a television interview later Astaphan made “a very partisan presentation in response to statements attributed to the United Workers Party concerning the court proceedings, in which he stated that he, Astaphan, was Counsel for the Commission”.

Joseph noted Theodore-John has since written to Foster and other members of the Commission registering her strong objection to Astaphan acting as counsel for the Commission, since he was “conflicted by reason of having accepted instructions to act for the Honourable Prime Minister and Her Excellency, the Governor General” and also by virtue of his “long standing relationship with the Honourable Prime Minister and your good self Mr. Chairman.”

Efforts to get Astaphan to respond to the latest allegations have so far proven futile.