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 - January 2015

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

***UPDATED: Woman shot in Bird Rock***

Thursday 15th January, 2015 Hits:5560

Staff Writer

Man Wanted for Murder, Nabbed Trying to Leave Nevis by Fishing Boat

Monday 19th January, 2015 Hits:4767

Toni Frederick

BHS Teacher Who Spoke Out About Health Concerns Has Appointment Terminated

Saturday 24th January, 2015 Hits:4653

Toni Frederick

Stapleton Man Arrested for Devon Ryan's Murder

Thursday 15th January, 2015 Hits:4525

Toni Frederick

Police seeking escapee

Saturday 17th January, 2015 Hits:3966

Staff Writer

Winn FM Tech Round Up – Weekend of 16th January 2015

Friday 16th January, 2015 Hits:3550

Sourced Information

Sixteen students graduate from TOPS programme

Thursday 15th January, 2015 Hits:3547

Andre Huie

SIDF boasts of its accomplishments

Sunday 18th January, 2015 Hits:3127

Andre Huie

***UPDATED*** Bus Driver Shot Dead in Nevis

Saturday 10th January, 2015 Hits:2987

Toni Frederick

Work to begin on final phase of Frigate Bay Road/Simmonds Highway

Friday 23rd January, 2015 Hits:2803

Andre Huie

Another Shooting at Ferry Terminal, Tabernacle Man Injured

Thursday 1st January, 2015 Hits:2573

Toni Frederick

Fire & Rescue Officer Slapped With Numerous Cocaine-Related Charges

Monday 5th January, 2015 Hits:2434

Toni Frederick

Bahamas VAT Less Than half of St Kitts Nevis Value Added Tax

Wednesday 7th January, 2015 Hits:2388

Staff Writer

Murder-accused seeks lol legal representation

Tuesday 13th January, 2015 Hits:2365

Andre Huie

Winn FM Tech Round Up – Weekend of 23rd January 2015

Friday 23rd January, 2015 Hits:2257

Sourced Information





LISTEN AGAIN

 - WINN FM Evening News - 25th January, 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.

 -Sports Factor-Jan 8th 2015-Interview with Antoine Adams and NBA review

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.

Boundaries Change Report

- Inside the News - Saturday 17th January, 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 11th January, 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 13th January, 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.


-Sports Factor Dec 18, 2014-Interview with Evris Huggins

Click below to hear full item

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.

- Felix Redmill - Time For A New Political Culture

Click below to hear full item | Read full text

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.