Categorized | National News


Human Rights Lawyer Fred Smith says  “the thorny issues for citizens in waiting in the Bahamas remain unresolved”  as a result of  the dismissal of an appeal in the Jean Rony Jean Charles immigration case before the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Smith said his client will appeal  the  decision  to the Privy Council.

The Queens Counsel told the Journal, “ the Justices of  Appeal did not deal with the constitutional issues in the case.  The  question  was  about a person born in the Bahamas, whether they can or cannot be legally deported or expelled and whether or not the Supreme Court has the power to order the government to release somebody  or  whether or not the Immigration Department does or does not have the power to detain people who were born in the Bahamas who are citizens in waiting remains unresolved.”

Mr.  Smith reacting  to the judgment of the judges said, “ both the government and Jean Rony were looking forward to the real issues in the case being dealt with, as  opposed to the procedural issues.

“Everybody is still up in the air about their rights, including the government and Jean Rony and thousands of people in his position. The Attorney General was looking forward to the Court of Appeal dealing with these issues. The failure of the court in deadline with the constitutional issues in this judgment has left a lot of people in limbo.

“Sadly, the  nation is no closer  to those thorny issues being resolved,” said Mr. Smith.

Appeal Court Justice Sir Michael Barnett , one of the  three judges in the  matter wrote: “ In  my judgment as the identity of the applicant was in the mind of the (Supreme Court)  judge still an unresolved issue, the court ought not  to have entertained any application for constitutional or any other relief until that issue had been resolved.

“I was obviously unfair to the respondents in the habeas corpus application to have to deal with an application for constitutional relief when that application was being made for the first time at the morning fixed for the Return in the habeas corpus matter. They has only come before the court to deal with the habeas corpus application and the return showing that they did not have in their custody a person that may fit the identity of the person named as the Applicant.”

Sir Michael said the judge fell in error when he proceeded with the application for constitutional relief.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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