Connect with WINN FM

Unit C24, The Sands Complex
Newtown Bay Road, Basseterre, St. Kitts, W.I.
Download Programme Schedule

Why was Registrar sent on leave?

Registrar of the High Court Janine Harris-Lake

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  Days after news surfaced that High Court Registrar Janine Harris-Lake has been asked by the Attorney General’s Chambers to almost immediately proceed on more than 60 days accrued vacation leave, the public faces two contrasting tales.

Is it that the government is concerned about Mrs. Janine Harris -Lake’s welfare, and feels she needs a much deserved break from her official duties, almost right away? Or is it that Mrs. Harris- Lake has drawn the ire of government and the accrued leave option proves an attractive mechanism to get her to hand over her keys until December, at least in the first instance?

As this story unfolds in the coming days the truth may draw closer but for now the jury is out. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition People’s Action Movement Eugene Hamilton argues that the letter to the Registrar amounts to disciplinary action.

“…Written on the 17th to tell her go on vacation on the 20th, that is disciplinary action and to tell her to hand over the keys...”

He argues that Section 83 of the St. Kitts and Nevis Constitution states that the Registrar can only be disciplined on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission headed by the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Former Government Minister Dwyer Astaphan, now a major force in the civic group Operation Rescue, that has seemingly devoted itself to seeing the back of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, brought the issue to the public’s attention in an article published Friday September 20, entitled “30 Years.”

He wrote: “Just two days ago, the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mrs. Janine Harris-Lake, who happens to be the sister of Dr. Timothy Harris, was suddenly and without notice handed a letter instructing her to proceed on Friday, September 20, 2013, to take her 62 days’ leave. That’s tomorrow.”

Astaphan noted that, “While the Registrar is paid by the Government and is part of the public service, the post is also a vital one in the judicial system, and its holder has critical responsibilities to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and to the Chief Justice.”

And then he posed questions: “Is this the way the holder of this post, is this the way the judiciary, is treated? Is it an attempt to embarrass the lady or to discipline her? If the latter, did someone forget to read Section 83 of our Constitution? Might the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court be also embarrassed and troubled by this action by the Government? “Is this evidence of an all out attack on the judicial arm of Government?”

There is no official statement from the government as of Sunday and the ruling St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) on the matter but SKNLP spokesman Austin Edinborough commenting on the issue on WINN FM’s Inside the News, on Saturday, scoffed at the charge of disciplinary action against the Registrar.

“There is no disciplinary action within the letter that was sent or alleged to have been sent …the Registrar was asked to take leave accrued and that is an administrative matter handled by the country,” said the SKNLP spokesman.

“That has nothing to do with her being terminated or transferred that is leave that she must take at some point,” Edinborough asserted.

WINN’s newsroom confirmed over the weekend that that Registrar had been advised by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to proceed on 64 days vacation leave effective September 20 to December 17, 2013. The Registrar received correspondence on September 17, asking that she put in place arrangements on Wednesday September 18, to bring all outstanding legal matters to the attention of Minister of Justice Patrice Nisbett and all administrative matters to the attention of the permanent secretary of Attorney General Jason Hamilton’s Chambers.

Mrs. Harris–Lake was also instructed to hand over all department keys in her possession to the Permanent Secretary.

It is also our understanding that Mrs. Harris- Lake was asked to attend a weekend meeting to discuss the controversial issue.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


Top Local Stories

Most Read - June 2015

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

BBC Programme Paints Bleak Picture of St. Kitts and Nevis

Wednesday 17th June, 2015 Hits:5688

Sourced Information

Bounty Killer's brother arrested for stealing phone

Saturday 27th June, 2015 Hits:4334

Andre Huie

St. Kitts and Nevis Facing Serious Water Shortage, Officials Warn

Wednesday 3rd June, 2015 Hits:3556

Toni Frederick

Six Caribbean banks implicated in FIFA corruption scandal

Wednesday 3rd June, 2015 Hits:2197

Sourced Information

Gunshot Victims Run to Hospital For Medical Attention

Wednesday 10th June, 2015 Hits:2090

Toni Frederick

Body of female Golf Club employee retrieved

Tuesday 9th June, 2015 Hits:2002

Andre Huie

Condor: I am qualified for UN Ambassador appointment

Sunday 31st May, 2015 Hits:1958

Andre Huie

Terminated BHS Teacher Back on the Job

Sunday 7th June, 2015 Hits:1941

Toni Frederick

USAID donates bicycles to St. Kitts with help from US Air Force

Monday 15th June, 2015 Hits:1864

Staff Writer

Police Apprehend Teenage Robber Within an Hour

Wednesday 24th June, 2015 Hits:1842

Toni Frederick

Palmetto Point Baker Shot During Attempted Robbery ***UPDATED***

Wednesday 24th June, 2015 Hits:1649

Toni Frederick

New Ambassador Weighs in on Diplomatic Appointments Debate

Monday 1st June, 2015 Hits:1603

Ken Richards

Simmonds Calls on New Administration to Put People First

Monday 15th June, 2015 Hits:1454

Clive Bacchus





Powered by Spearhead Software Labs Joomla Facebook Like Button

LISTEN AGAIN

WINN FM Evening News - 29th June, 2015

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

- Inside the News Saturday 27th June, 2015 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

- The Bigger Picture with Ken Richards June 21st, 2015

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

-The Operating Room - 23rd June, 2015

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.