Government files appeal against High Court ruling in Paul Slowe/PSC case

Government files appeal against High Court ruling in Paul Slowe/PSC case

Weeks after the High Court ruled that President Irfaan Ali’s suspension of the Chairman and members of the Police Service Commission in 2021 was unconstitutional and unlawful, the Government through the Attorney General’s Chambers has moved to the Court of Appeal asking for the entire decision to be set aside.

In ruling in favour of Slowe, who was Chairman of the PSC at the time of the suspension, Justice Gino Persaud said that in the absence of a Judicial Service Commission and a Tribunal, the President had no authority to suspend the Chairman and other members of the Police Service Commission.

The Judge ruled that President Ali breached the Constitution when he failed to appoint a Tribunal on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission to address the issue of the removal of Mr. Slowe and his fellow Commissioners from the Police Service Commission.

In the appeal filed, the Attorney General said the Judge erred when he ruled that the expired Police Service Commission could lawfully continue to maintain legal proceedings before the Court. 

Mr. Nandlall said that the Judge also erred when he ruled that the President’s action was in breach of the Constitution and also made a mistake in his ruling when he determined that the appointment of a Tribunal pursuant to Article 225 (4) was a condition precedent to the President’s power to suspend the former members of the Police Service Commission.

The Attorney General appears to have an issue with the entire ruling of the High Court. His request to the Court is to have a total strike out of the High Court’s ruling and also petition the court for Mr. Slowe to stand the legal costs associated with the case.

In June 2021, President Ali suspended the then Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Paul Slowe and the other members, Michael Somersall, Claire Alexis Jarvis, Vesta Adams and Clinton Conway based on the advice of Prime Minister Mark Phillips.

In handing down the suspension, the President sought to activate the doctrine of necessity on the basis that, at the time, the Judicial Service Commission was not duly constituted, and therefore could not advise on the establishment of a Tribunal.

The trial Judge dismissed the excuse of a doctrine of necessity.

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