November 22, 2013
Roseal Services Limited v Challis [2012] CCJ 7 (AJ)

Fri Nov 22, 2013

by Sue-Ann K. Lowe, Norman Manley Law School

While the CCJ case of Roseal Services Limited v Challis [2012] CCJ 7 (AJ) deals with quite a bit of procedural and technical points, it still offers assistance to the general public on what matters may appropriately be appealed to the CCJ and how to make specific appeals. Roseal Services Limited (“Roseal”) agreed to sell a hotel to Challis. However, in September 2008, Challis purported to cancel the agreement on several grounds, including a concern that Roseal had failed to show good title to the property. In October 2008, Roseal claimed against Challis, asking the court to order that Challis go through with the sale and if not that they be made to pay damages for breach of the contract.{{more}}

Roseal thought there was no good defence to their claim and so they applied for a summary

judgement. This application was denied but the trial judge ordered that the matter proceed to a speedy trial. Roseal was dissatisfied. Roseal appealed to the court of Appeal but that court denied its appeal. Roseal was, however, granted permission by the Court of Appeal, as of right, to appeal to the CCJ.

The CCJ had to determine whether it had jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The CCJ first considered whether initially the Court of Appeal should have heard the appeal from the trial judge’s order. The Court decided that the trial judge’s order was one that granted unconditional leave to Challis to defend the action and this was an order that could not be appealed. The CCJ therefore found that the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear Roseal’s appeal.

Admitting that it did not need to consider whether there was a right of appeal to the CCJ, following its decision that the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction it the first place, the Court went on nevertheless to clarify how particular matters are to be brought before the CCJ. After considering the Agreement Establishing the CCJ and the CCJ Act of Barbados, the Court indicated that if a person wishes to appeal a Court of Appeal order that is not a final order (i.e. an interlocutory or interim order) that appeal may only be heard by the CCJ if the CCJ first gives the person special leave to appeal. Such an appeal could not be brought as of right.

In the end the CCJ struck out Roseal’s appeal and ordered Roseal to pay Challis’s costs. The case helps to clarify what can be appealed in the Court of Appeal and how to properly make an appeal in the CCJ.

This summary is intended to assist the Caribbean public in learning more about the work of the CCJ. It is not a formal document of the Court. The judgment of the Court is the only authoritative document and may be found at http://www.caribbeancourtofjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-CCJ-7-AJ.pdf.