Thursday, March 26, 2015

Holness’ Appeal Dismissed

                                      Summary of Interesting Highlights

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of the Leader of Opposition in the House Of Representatives. Andrew Holness was seeking a reversal of the order of the Full Court ( Daye, McDonald Bishop and Batts JJJ) made on 6 February 2015.

By that order, it was declared that:

“1   ….the request for and procurement of pre-signed and undated letters of
resignation and letters of authorization by the Leader of the Opposition from persons to be appointed as Senators to the Senate of Jamaica, upon his nomination, is inconsistent with the constitution, contrary to public policy, unlawful, and is, accordingly null and void .

2   ….the pre-signed and undated letters of resignation and letters of authorization, as well as the manner of their use to effect the resignation of Senators (  the claimant in particular ) from the Senate of Jamaica, are inconsistent with the Constitution, contrary to public policy and are, accordingly, null and void”.

Some 16 grounds of appeal were filed.

The Panel comprised of Panton (P), Dukharan (JA) and Brooks (JA) and is listed as Supreme Court Civil Appeal No 22/2015 delivered on 25 March 2015.

Panton (P):

[44]   It is my view, therefore, that the Full Court was correct in ruling that the letters of resignation were inconsistent with the Constitution, and so null and void. The legal and constitutional position is that the respondent and Dr Tufton did not resign. They are therefore entitled to retake their positions in the Senate.

Brooks (JA):
[125]    The Full Court was correct in finding that the demand for pre-signed letters of resignation was unconstitutional and invalid. Similarly the use of those letters without the consent of the persons who had signed them was also invalid. Consequently, the letters of resignation that were delivered to the Governor-General by Mr Holness in respect of Mr Williams were invalid and ineffective. The appeal by Mr Holness should be dismissed.

Dukharan (JA):

[47]     I have read in draft the judgements of the learned President and my brother Brooks JA and agree with their reasoning and conclusions. I have nothing to add. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well there we go. As I said in a previous comment, the talking points about Senators crossing the floor is nonsense since the constitution does not recognize political parties. Just as the Court of Appeal said. Too often though in Jamaica the debate is blinded by the narrow field of what pertains today as opposed to what is actually allowed for and possible under the constitution. The JLP so far (and to a lesser extent the PNP) is lucky that there hasn't been a proper third party or movement for the election of independent Representatives. In many other countries the JLP would have become a minor party with support having been switched to a third or fourth party or parties by now. Perhaps this sense of security as being practically the ONLY alternative to the PNP in the absence of other parties is what drives the JLP to be so delusional in its outlook - it believes it can still have a good chance at winning despite being fractious and playing fast and loose with its own rules and the country's laws. No competition other than the PNP. If there was sufficient competition though not just for the chance to become government but simply to be the official Opposition or even to have a seat in parliament, then perhaps the JLP would quickly pull itself together or become extinct.