November 5, 2013
Privy Council turns down application by NDP

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has turned down an application by the Opposition New Democratic Party for permission to appeal election cases first filed here in 2011.{{more}}

Charles Russell LLP, the group of solicitors hired by the Government on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Magistrate, yesterday informed Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan of the decision of the Privy Council.

“We have received notification that the above mentioned matter has been considered by the Board (Privy Council) and who have confirmed that the application for permission to appeal has been refused on the ground that the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance,” the letter to Jones Morgan said.

“As soon as the order in council has been received, I will arrange copies to be sent to you, for your kind attention,” the letter ended.

The East Caribbean Court of the Appeal, at a sitting in Kingstown on September 17, 2012, had denied permission for Senators Vynnette Frederick and Linton Lewis, parliamentary representative for South Leeward Nigel Stephenson and Patricia Marva Chance to take their appeals, in relation to election cases first filed in 2011, to the Privy Council.

“I expected it to be denied. We will now make applications directly to the Privy Council,” Frederick told SEARCHLIGHT last year.

“As far as I am aware, that is being worked on straightaway.”

Frederick, Lewis, Stephenson and Chance were seeking permission to appeal May 31, 2012 decisions of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, which went in favour of the Government ministers Dr Douglas Slater, Cecil McKie and Clayton Burgin and Chief Magistrate Sonya Young.

The Appeal Court had upheld Justice Gertel Thom’s decision on November 15, 2011, to refuse leave to Lewis, Frederick and Stephenson to seek Judicial Review of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams’ decisions to take over and discontinue private criminal complaints they had filed against Slater, McKie and Burgin, on January 11, 2011 at the Serious Offences Court.

The Chief Magistrate was successful at the Appeal Court in her application to set aside the leave granted to the NDP senator Vynnette Frederick for judicial review of the Chief Magistrate’s decision to refuse to issue summonses in relation to two private complaints brought in January 2011 against Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

Chance had sought permission to appeal at the Privy Council the decision of the Appeal Court to uphold the DPP’s decision to discontinue private criminal complaints she brought against Afi Jack.