Categorized | National News

Judge Rejects Judicial Review

Supreme Court Justice Ian Winder has refused to grant leave for a judicial review in the application hearing of Opposition Members Dr. Andre Rollins and Richard Lightbourne.

The pair submitted that the current boundaries report violates article 70 of the constitution, which requires that a boundaries report be submitted within a period of five years.

In his ruling, Justice Winder said that not enough evidence was provided to support the applicant’s claim of gerrymandering.

He added while Mr. Lightbourne did put forth statistical evidence for his constituency in Montagu, none were provided for St. Anne’s, Yamacraw and Fox Hill, three other constituencies the applicants said would be affected by the boundary cuts.
In regards to the letter provided by St. Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, who was the only Opposition member that was a part of the Boundaries Commission, Justice Winder said it was not provided in a timely matter and also did not state exactly what were the changes made in the report that he was opposed to.
Now in regards to the government exceeding the five-year deadline for tabling the report, Justice Winder said while he agreed with the applicants in this regard and it was unfortunate the government opposed the time constraint, he rejected the defense’s lawyer Michael Scott’s argument that said the current boundaries report should be declared void.

Justice Winder said it would be absurd to leave the state without government.
The Journal spoke with the applicants’ lawyer Mr. Scott on the court’s steps following the proceedings, who said the outcome was not shocking, but indicated that this wasn’t the end.

“It is a disappointing development for us we are undeterred and resolved to go.

“We have leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal and thank God we live in a country where certain freedoms are still available to us, we have free and fair judiciary that we are gratified that the Privy Council are in town.

“It is ironic that three or four of the law lords are the same ones who sat on a very important case involving Boundaries Commission and preventing a great injustice in that case,” Mr. Scott said.

Dr. Rollins explained to reporters that with political season getting more intense his focus is on the upcoming election and that his lawyer will handle things from here.

“The written ruling that Mr. Scott made a request for is obviously going to be a source of reference not only for Mr. Scott but higher courts.

“If it is found that it does not support the decision that was rendered today then there is every possibility that we may find that there is a different decision at a later date.

“In the meantime, the reality is that there is an election to be contested. Mr. Lightbourne and myself are going to do all that we can to get on the political battle field while our attorney does what he must do,” Dr. Rollins said.

Mr. Lightbourne explained his case in regards to the judge’s notion that there was a lack of evidence in the case.

“We felt we had sufficient evidence to support the application as Mr. Scott has indicated, it was disappointing that we weren’t provided with the order we sought,” Mr. Lightbourne said.

Mr. Scott says he expects to make an appeal within a week.


Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook