Saturday, December 13, 2008

Appealing Dual Citizenship Qualification

Daryl Vaz has appealed the Chief Justice's ruling that:

  1. On Nomination Day, August 7, 2007, he was not qualified to be elected to the House of Representatives for the constituency of West Portland;
  2. Vaz' nomination on that day in invalid, null and void and of no legal effect. Hence he was not duly returned or elected as a Member of the House of Representatives.
In sum the Chief Justice found that Vaz at the time of his nomination was in breach of S.40(2) (a) of the Constitution of Jamaica, viz:
"No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a Senator or elected as a member of the House of Representatives who - (a) is by virtue of his own act under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a Foreign Power or State"

Vaz' appeal against the disqualification based on his dual citizenship is centred around:

  • The Chief Justice failed to give effect to the plain meaning of the words of S.40(2)(a);
  • The disqualification does not apply to dual nationals who acquire citizenship involuntarily;
  • Expressio unius exclusio alterius;
  • In any event acquisition and travelling on a passport did not amount to acknowledgment of allegiance.
The detailed submissions are set out below:

No comments: