Categorized | Local, News

Premier Meade and government lose fight to frustrate National Song issue

By Warren Cassell

Every time the song “Motherland” is heard, some are reminded, others may not be aware of the legal action brought by songwriter Denzil Edgecombe against the former Premier Reuben Meade and the government through the Hon. Attorney General. The Government has been fighting to bring to an end to the issue of whether or not Denzil Edgecombe’s song is to be declared the national song, but it will not be an easy one. The matter was brought against

After the Court of Appeal granted Mr. Edgecombe leave setting aside Justice Redhead’s refusal, the Attorney-General’s office applied to the court to strike out certain remedies sought by Mr. Edgecombe. In particular, following are the remedies that the crown wanted struck out:

  • A declaration that the legitimate expectation of the Applicant was unlawfully and unfairly frustrated by the 1st Respondent so as to amount to an abuse of power on the part of the 1st Respondent;
  • Damages
  • Interest pursuant to section 7 of the Judgments Act;
  • Any other relief that the court deems fit pursuant to section 20 of the Supreme Court Act.

The crown sought the removals on the ground that the Claimant should be limited by the scope of the leave granted by the Court of Appeal. Karen Reid who represented the Crown alongside Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney argued that the Court of Appeal granted Mr. Edgecombe leave to go forward on the limited ground of “legitimate expectation” which is the only relief he should have been seeking in his substantive claim. Hence, the Claimant Mr. Edgecombe ought not to have pursued any other ground, relief or remedy for which permission or leave was not granted. (see earlier article: “There was a National Song” – October 31, 2014.

Antigua based Attorney Dr. David Dorsette acting for Mr. Edgecombe contended that leave was not prescribed or limited to ‘one remedy’ only. Dr. Dorsette also stated that the further remedies which the Claimant sought are consistent with a finding that the Claimant had a legitimate expectation which was frustrated or denied by the public body, the non-fulfillment of which could amount to an abuse of power and which remedies the Claimant is entitled to claim. He further contended that no practical purpose could be served if the court makes a declaration that the ground of legitimate expectation is established and fails to consider the remedies or relief that the Claimant is or appears to be entitled to.

In ruling on the application, High Court Judge acting Justice Cynthia Combie Martyr delivered an eight-page judgment stating on page seven:

The court agrees with counsel for the Claimant that the remedies which the Claimant seeks would be consistent with a finding that the Claimant had a legitimate expectation which was frustrated or denied by the public body, the non-fulfillment of which could amount to an abuse of power. Such remedies the Claimant is entitled to claim in this Fixed Date Claim Form. The court is satisfied that those remedies flow directly from the limited ground stated in the Order.

 The learned Judge further stated at paragraph 29 of her judgment :

It was argued before the court that the Claimant seeks to expand or enlarge the scope of the leave granted and if so would amount to an abuse of process. However as has been found previously, the court does not accept that the remedies are not within the scope of the Order and holds that the remedies sought are consequential and within the scope of the ground identified in the Order. As such does not amount to abuse of process of court.

The application of the crown to strike out the remedies sought by Mr. Edgecombe was refused and the court awarded costs to Mr. Edgecombe which are to be agreed or otherwise assessed.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Warren Cassell

Every time the song “Motherland” is heard, some are reminded, others may not be aware of the legal action brought by songwriter Denzil Edgecombe against the former Premier Reuben Meade and the government through the Hon. Attorney General. The Government has been fighting to bring to an end to the issue of whether or not Denzil Edgecombe’s song is to be declared the national song, but it will not be an easy one. The matter was brought against

After the Court of Appeal granted Mr. Edgecombe leave setting aside Justice Redhead’s refusal, the Attorney-General’s office applied to the court to strike out certain remedies sought by Mr. Edgecombe. In particular, following are the remedies that the crown wanted struck out:

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The crown sought the removals on the ground that the Claimant should be limited by the scope of the leave granted by the Court of Appeal. Karen Reid who represented the Crown alongside Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney argued that the Court of Appeal granted Mr. Edgecombe leave to go forward on the limited ground of “legitimate expectation” which is the only relief he should have been seeking in his substantive claim. Hence, the Claimant Mr. Edgecombe ought not to have pursued any other ground, relief or remedy for which permission or leave was not granted. (see earlier article: “There was a National Song” – October 31, 2014.

Antigua based Attorney Dr. David Dorsette acting for Mr. Edgecombe contended that leave was not prescribed or limited to ‘one remedy’ only. Dr. Dorsette also stated that the further remedies which the Claimant sought are consistent with a finding that the Claimant had a legitimate expectation which was frustrated or denied by the public body, the non-fulfillment of which could amount to an abuse of power and which remedies the Claimant is entitled to claim. He further contended that no practical purpose could be served if the court makes a declaration that the ground of legitimate expectation is established and fails to consider the remedies or relief that the Claimant is or appears to be entitled to.

In ruling on the application, High Court Judge acting Justice Cynthia Combie Martyr delivered an eight-page judgment stating on page seven:

The court agrees with counsel for the Claimant that the remedies which the Claimant seeks would be consistent with a finding that the Claimant had a legitimate expectation which was frustrated or denied by the public body, the non-fulfillment of which could amount to an abuse of power. Such remedies the Claimant is entitled to claim in this Fixed Date Claim Form. The court is satisfied that those remedies flow directly from the limited ground stated in the Order.

 The learned Judge further stated at paragraph 29 of her judgment :

It was argued before the court that the Claimant seeks to expand or enlarge the scope of the leave granted and if so would amount to an abuse of process. However as has been found previously, the court does not accept that the remedies are not within the scope of the Order and holds that the remedies sought are consequential and within the scope of the ground identified in the Order. As such does not amount to abuse of process of court.

The application of the crown to strike out the remedies sought by Mr. Edgecombe was refused and the court awarded costs to Mr. Edgecombe which are to be agreed or otherwise assessed.