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Opposition Lawmakers win court victory on injunction and judicial review matters

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The injunction stands and a judicial review on some specific areas of contention will be allowed. That ruling Monday by High Court Judge Darshan Ramdhani, in relation to the constituency boundary changes matter. The Government of St Kitts-Nevis in September filed a legal motion seeking to lift the injunction granted to Opposition lawmakers who are seeking to block proposed changes to constituency boundaries ahead of the next general elections. 

The order was against the Governor General – it restrains him from  making any proclamation to effect the boundaries changes based on the report of the Constituency Boundaries Commission, that were approved by parliament. Justice Ramdhani, in a 160 page ruling Monday, said if the Governor General was allowed to make the proclamation it would deprive the court of jurisdiction. He also ruled that the respondents have not given any good reason why the judicial review should not proceed. Team Unity Leader Dr Timothy Harris has hailed the judgment as a victory for the opposition.

“So we won today and we hope that the people of St Kitts and Nevis will win every day moving forward,” Dr Harris told WINN FM. Reminded that the opposition lawmakers didn’t have it all their way, because the judge said there was no evidence to back their claim that the Constituency Boundaries Commission acted improperly, the Team Unity leader had this response:  “Well, you don’t need everything to win … we won fundamentally what we want, that we believe that to have proceeded with the boundaries report would have done an injustice to the people of St Kitts and Nevis.  

And we have the opportunity for the court to hear that substantively at a later date,” Dr Harris said. “For now nothing can happen, and the executive remains stalled in their mad plan, a vicious plan I would add, to undermine the democracy by this government which is illegitimate - that for us is an outstanding victory,” he concluded. 

Dr Harris was optimistic that his team will also be successful at the actual judicial review, for which a date has not yet been set. Attorney General Jason Hamilton declined to comment when asked about the court ruling.

Listen to the full report here

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Comments  

0 #5 Federation 2013-11-26 09:10
Re: #2 Robert, I think you may have scored a point, but I believe the bigger and more important question is, is the opposition biased by the manner in which the revision has been conducted?
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0 #4 Federation 2013-11-26 08:57
Why do politicians fool or so attempt to fool the populace? The matter has not been disposed of, be truthful even if it hurts you. STOP messing with people's MIND, Or people who support you, simply because there is no real alternative will stay away from the poll and the monsters will remain. Fiat justitia ruat caelum. meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.
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-2 #3 Robert 2013-11-25 18:37
Quoting DM:
I am not sure Mr. Harris is as happy with this ruling since the Judge said "there was no evidence to back their (Opposition MPs) claim that the Constituency Boundaries Commission acted improperly"

It seems like a Judicial Review will end upbeing an excercise that will waste the Court's time, having already ruled that the Boundaries Commission did nothing illegal or wrong.

To extend this logic, since the Boundaries Commission did notihing improper, then certainly they had the legal right to change the boundaries. The Opposition MPs will end up, not just losing at the Judicial Review, but paying the government's legal cost.


@DM:
Agreed. A celebration of "much ado about nothing."
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0 #2 Dutch 2013-11-25 16:09
I think we all know what this was about in the change, so just having the court rule to stay the boundaries as is. Would be considered a victory no matter the later outcome. What this does is forces the Government now to either prolong the motion past 12 months until they can ensure the boundaries in their favor, or take the change and call elections as is. Or they might argue the can't do either seeing the matter of the boundaries is before the court.
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-4 #1 DM 2013-11-25 13:51
I am not sure Mr. Harris is as happy with this ruling since the Judge said "there was no evidence to back their (Opposition MPs) claim that the Constituency Boundaries Commission acted improperly"

It seems like a Judicial Review will end upbeing an excercise that will waste the Court's time, having already ruled that the Boundaries Commission did nothing illegal or wrong.

To extend this logic, since the Boundaries Commission did notihing improper, then certainly they had the legal right to change the boundaries. The Opposition MPs will end up, not just losing at the Judicial Review, but paying the government's legal cost.
Quote

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