WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Appealing to the Court of Appeal

A deafening silenceAnnounce the decision now! There is a deafening silence booming out of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, some seven weeks after hearing the boundaries change case proposed by the government of Antigua & Barbuda.

In December 2013, Justice Brian Cottle dismissed the opposition Antigua Labour Party claim that the proposed boundary changes were unlawful.

The ABLP appealed.



With elections looming, the court, in recognition of the appeal's importance, placed the matter on the front burner.

Rather than wait for the next scheduled hearing in Antigua & Barbuda, the court decided to accommodate the hearing in St Kitts.

Additionally, the ABLP lost in the High Court of Justice on its challenge to the election commission's decision to re-register all voters.

The ABLP appealed that decision as well.

Similar to the urgency of the matter, the court listened to arguments in St Lucia rather than wait for the court's sitting in Antigua & Barbuda in March.

Seven weeks later, it appears that the Court has lost its understanding of urgency.

The attorney general of Antigua & Barbuda, Justin Simon, claimed that he wrote to the court about two weeks ago asking for a timeline on the court's decision.

The decision, according to Simon, was being written.

So why have the court not made a determination, especially in light of the political climate in Antigua & Barbuda, which may "explode" any time now.

The opposition, it seems, will stop at nothing to gain civil unrest and chaos, and hopefully place the country in a political tailspin.

It is no secret that Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer is hoping for the court's decision before announcing the date of the elections.

At the same time, time is running out on the prime minister, while the three justices who heard arguments on the two matters - boundary change and re-registration - are still writing.

Why has the court not yet delivered its decision? Could there be any type of outside influence in the Caribbean Court of Appeal?

I shudder to think there is.

Following the 2009 general elections, and a subsequent ABLP challenge of the legitimacy of three UPP members of Parliament, Judge Louise Blenman ruled in favour of the ABLP.

Many people thought that Blenman's decision was influenced, especially after she "rushed" to the airport and took a flight out of the country moments after delivering her verdict.

MP for St Mary's South Hilson Baptiste's statement of Blenman's decision is still a talking point when people speak of politics and inciting violence.

The subsequent UPP appeal knocked down Blenman's initial decision.

Ironically, Blenman is one of the three justices sitting on the Court of Appeal.

Surely, those who questioned Blenman's decision, then, must be wondering what is happening with this current delay.

And yes, seven weeks is an extra long time, especially taking into consideration the urgency of the matter at hand.

True, the independence of the court has to be respected. But are we to think that these justices do not know what's at stake in Antigua & Barbuda as it pertains to their deliver of this very important decision?

They must.


One would think that they get a daily dose of what's what in the Caribbean.

And while what they hear or read should not determine their decision, they should recognise when they ought to expedite their duties.

Then there is the entire matter of the analysis of pollster Peter Wickham who suggested that the ABLP would benefit from a delayed election.

Meanwhile, they continue to call for PM Spencer to announce the date of the elections.

There appears to be too many coincidences, which when examined leave many questions that may very well cast some doubt over the court and its untimely decision.

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42 Comments In This Article   

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@ fnprs

#42 SlyThatGuy » 2014-04-10 09:53

I agree totally with the view that you hold and have put forward in your argument with respect to the PM being firmly within the constitution to not set a date for the election until after the outcome of the matter in court. But even if the court comes back again with a judgment in favor of prime minister Spencer and the UPP, Gaston Browne and the ABLP will just appeal it again, in a determined attempt to get the prime minister to call the election without redrawing the boundary lines and re-registering the voters. This particular type of behavior displayed by Gaston Browne and the ABLP in relation to the decision of the court not only delay the election but it shows a total lack of respect for our justice system. The flatly refuse to accept any decision from the court that's not in their favor.
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@ Benita » 2014-04-09 09:45

#41 Observer... » 2014-04-10 01:39

Yes to all your questions. But you see the writer is too bias and has not done his homework before writing his OPINION piece. He/She should have written it on toilet paper and use it for that purpose only
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Observer...

@Concerned citizen

#40 Observer... » 2014-04-10 01:35

"It is no secret that Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer is hoping for the court's decision before announcing the date of the elections."

What a buch of balony. The PM is just using this as away to buy himself and his party some time and at the same time hope that the courts decision would be in his favor. Because if not he will have a double blow.
And even if he got the victory at the court he will still be potically in his own tailspin because all the work that need to be done will not be able to be completed within the 90 days after April 27. So this is cleary not what the PM is hoping.
The Court will not be forced to give a quick judgement. It will take whatever time it sees fit. St. Kitts is also waiting on the court for a the same bounderies issue.
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Observer...

@Concerned citizen

#39 Observer... » 2014-04-10 01:22

"The opposition, it seems, will stop at nothing to gain civil unrest and chaos, and hopefully place the country in a political tailspin."

I believe you totally out of place with this statement. You should be taken to court for this by the Opposition. This is as far as I can see a very libel statement without any facts. The leader of the Opposition has time and time again said that he is responsible and will not call for choas but use all democratic means to pressure the government to call election.
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Observer...

@good citizen

#38 Justice » 2014-04-09 19:46

You are the only one seeing things just like me. You are a brilliant person. Hopefully team UPP will read this an help PM Baldwin out of his doom.
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Justice

my take - part 2 & final

#37 fnpsr » 2014-04-09 18:33

In the time of a crisis, cooler heads will always prevail. Since the PM appears to be exhibiting a cool head and he knows that the constitution says that the election must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of Parliament, he can afford, and he is well within his right, to wait for the decision from the Appeals Court. The PM and many of us have to believe that the decision is due anytime now. Thus, there is time!

While some pollsters have opined that the PM will lose some popularity for his stance, I believe that it is better to lose, knowing that you did the right thing than winning knowing that you did the wrong thing.

My unsolicited advice to all is to take a deep breath, step back and let the issues play out. The time is drawing nigh!

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

my take - part 1

#36 fnpsr » 2014-04-09 18:32

I realize that everyone wants the election now and I can understand the frustration with the partisans. Some have opined that there is no constitutional reason why the PM cannot call the election, but I submit to them that “Prudence”, supported by issues that would have a more far adverse effect than not calling the election, dictate to the PM to wait until all issues are resolved. Waiting a month or two to ensure that that the “slate” is clean and that there are no issues that could be challenged in court and cause further chaos is priceless.

I believe that the PM is firmly within the constitution to not set a date for the election. He made certain decisions, i.e. redrawing of boundaries and re-registration of voters. These decisions were challenged, and as such the PM has to wait for an outcome. Again, “Prudence” and a level head dictate.

Some have wondered what will happen after the 26th of April 2014, when Parliament is dissolved. For hose of you who talk vociferously about democracy and the constitution, you should practice what you preach. Well, the constitution provides for the GG to re-appoint the PM or someone else until election is held.
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@ good citizen

#35 SlyThatGuy » 2014-04-09 18:05

So if you fully understand that the prime minister is the one who will decide when the election will be called, why don't you leave him alone as a good citizen and allow him to make the decision, why are you deciding when he should make the call? Just relax yourself.
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SlyThatGuy

....just to rock 'n dance...

#34 Jumbee Picknee » 2014-04-09 18:03

all I want for the Election, is...
just to rock 'n dance...hey!
all I want for the selection, is...
to rock 'n prance...dance...Yea!
for, this could be your last chance, eh hey!! Mr. PM...
the People say, that you doing, a dirty dance, stop it...
and, that, you're not advanced...Gaston, come in...
with his some say, ignorance, hey!! Recognizance...
but, all I want for this election, is...
just, to rock 'n dance...hey!!
'cause, I don't care, who gets the chance...dance...Yea!
for, this is not my, deliverance...Nay! Sad, Eh! In this day...
since, politics, 'tis a devious dance, Chandlah! Preaching...
while, the Christian Council hates, the red antz,...they're biting!! hot!!!
hot like fire....watch it, bullets flying...the girls them...screaming!
Beeeooochhing!!! Antigua Woman! Hollering...sounding , some say...
Over bearing!! But, we don't care, since,....
all, we want to do, for the election, is...
just to rock 'n dance...hey!
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Jumbee Picknee

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#33 good citizen » 2014-04-09 16:35

The Prime Minister is the one who decide when the election will be called. Thus seeing the Prime Minister is going strictly by the constitution to call the election, the court cases have nothing to do with his decision. He like to say a foe me decision. This is definitely his decision not the court and its cases. After the twenty sixth of April, we must have an election within those ninety days. The Prime Minister cannot abdicate his responsibility. The people may have to make a decision for him. Chaku and Samuel did not see Gaston appealing their handy work, of changing the boundaries and the re-registration. Time is running out on Chaku and Samuel. This was a master piece by them two. The problem is , they implemented it too late. The court decision is not going to decide the timing for the election. Gaston will appeal any decision that is against him to the privy court. So, Baldwin will have to call the election on the old boundaries and the old registration.
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good citizen

jeb

#32 SlyThatGuy » 2014-04-09 16:32

Jeb, It just doesn't make any sense to me that you'd think we should go on with the election while the proceedings (the cases to settle the dispute) regarding the election is still before the court. You need to understand clearly that when Gaston Browne and the ABLP took action to hold up the boundary changes and the re-registration, they also took action to hold up the election. The dispute which is befor the Court of Appeal has to be resolved before we can move forward with election. So if their plan was to have election without the re-registration and the boundary changes--and it was--they were wrong.
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SlyThatGuy

@Ciroc

#31 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-04-09 16:26

Thanks for your concern,but just to inform you i could not be better. As to been angry,what gave you that impression? I may be just really fed up of the way politics is been played out in A,gua lately.It has become soo much of something of who you support;that some persons are willing to make azzes of themselves to justify the nasty actions of who they claim to support. I am in no way angry,just like Phillip kennedy,the PM time is up,he needs to respect that and call the Elections.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

GRIPE WATER

#30 GARRAT » 2014-04-09 16:09

Sir or Madam, whether my colours are Red, White, or Blue, one thing is sure, I have a voice in this democracy, having given that right by virtue of the place of my birth. You are obviously drowning in your gripe water as the situation has gone over your head. Our prime minister is the minister responsible for the subject of elections and he has failed to manage effectively. You can gripe as much as you can, this is my country and as I hope, every Antiguan would like to leave it a much better place than we found it. I would suggest that you drink some soursop bush tea to get over your Gripe or you may just mess yourself in public. My colours, whatever they are, are my RIGHTS!
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@Antiguan Woman

#29 CIROC » 2014-04-09 15:59

I like your passion for the game of politics.Tell me why are you so angry.I am concerned for your health.Anger could lead to elevated blood pressure and heart disease.Please take care of yourself, number one.
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CIROC

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#28 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-04-09 14:54

When the CCJ overturned the Blenman,s ruling they were the greatest thing after Jesus Christ; they have not even made a ruling as yet and they are now been labelled as everything bad. The pronouncements by the PM that he cannot call elections without the court ruling,is nothing more than
another of his deceptive handling of the nation.. He knows its a lie and so do all Intelligent A,guan whether they support him or not; they know better but perfer to continue fooling the simple minded not so smart supporters;some of whom will eat Fire to defend his claim without one shred of facts to back their arguments. The courts are Independent from any other arm of Govt and should not be expected to be used to satisfy the Agenda of any Party..
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

@SlyThatGuy

#27 jeb » 2014-04-09 14:24

I really have to wonder if you spend most of your life living in a box. You obviously have a computer or access to one. If you actually took the time to read the constitution relating to elections you would read that there is NO reason that Baldwin Spencer cannot give a date. Justin Simon has publicly said that Gaston Brown CANNOT cancel the court cases. Look up the definition of democracy on your computer and you will see that it is a case of ruling by and for the majority of people. It should be clear to you by now judging from the never seen before numbers in the march and whistle stop motorcade on Sunday that the MAJORITY want an election date. We, the people, not I, Baldwin Spencer, are accustomed to the traditional time for elections. Not least of all, perhaps your income and/or business is doing just fine but it is an obvious fact…Go out and mingle in ALL the streets and you will see…that the country is in Limbo/stagnant which is economically detrimental to us, the majority, who are the majority tax contributing part of this democracy. You have the democratic right to lobby for whoever you so chose, but may I suggest that factual comments or arguments makes far more sense to us the readers than the fictional as you would like it to be nonsense.
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jeb

Election Date

#26 Concerned » 2014-04-09 14:11

My question is if the Court of Appeals does not give their ruling for another 6 months, does that mean we cannot have an election? FOOLISHNESS. Baldwin needs to give the election date and stop all of this dillydalling.
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Concerned

Pending Court Decisios !!

#25 CIROC » 2014-04-09 13:58

True Justice moves at its own snails pace.Justices do not make decisions based on the urgency of the matter.There decisions could make Antigua and Barbuda stronger as a whole.Or divide the country to the detriment. Which ever way it goes that would be something for you the people to decide.We had an issue here in the USA.Bush vs Gore in an election that was determined by the Supreme Court.It took the court some weeks to determined the winner.The country continued to function during that time.The ruling came down and Bush was the winner.We as a population had to abide by the judgement.Even though some were in disagreement including yours truly. In the USA the ruling of the Supreme Court is final.If the ABLP were to lose those cases.Could they then proceed to the Supreme Court of the country the Privy Council.And that could continue to delay the elections date.
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CIROC

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#24 tenman » 2014-04-09 12:35

Must be something else to be willing to want to burn down your own house. Articles like these with their musing, makes me wonder if the author has a lock on his bed and keeps his /her spouse tied to it.
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tenman

Pig washing

#23 Gripe water » 2014-04-09 12:28

Garrat, your politics is dyed in red, your jaundice eyes blur your vision of justice, you keep touting the sand insane argument. The issue is before the Court, await the judgement, and let the country exhale from the daily ignorance of ALP pig washing.
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Gripe water

THE BLAME BELONG TO "FU ME DECISION."

#22 GARRAT » 2014-04-09 11:01

Spencer is the Prime Minister and the Minister responsible for Electoral Matters. He was guilty for the 2009 election fiasco for which he blamed Sir Gerald AMD yet he never learn. There is a constitutional time frame for the appointment and reporting of the Boundaries Commission. He left it to the very late hour, hoping to create confusion. Well he did. He and .Juno went along with Nationwide re-registration which was never sanctioned by Parliament but was one other rigging mechanism. It is not the Courts, it is Machiavelli and the Opposition is up to his tricks and out fixing him.
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GARRAT

@ Parishman

#21 skyewill » 2014-04-09 10:49

mmmmmmmh (Like Sly Jay)
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skyewill

@ Phillip Kennedy

#20 SlyThatGuy » 2014-04-09 10:49

You mean that the prime minister should just ignore the constitution, the rules and regulations of the land and call the election in spite of the fact the matter is still before the court? Don't you think it would be more sensible for Gaston Browne to withdraw or cancel the cases before the court since the law premits him to do so? That way, he would be giving the prime minister the authority to call the election without trampling on the constitution,the laws and regulations. I'm aware that your reason for voicing these kinds of feelings and opinions is because you really don't have an understand of what true democracy is nor how it works.
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SlyThatGuy

You cannot hide

#19 Gripe water » 2014-04-09 10:46

Chet, I see you are using another pseudonym, but you cannot hide, Red Ants will smoke you out :lol:
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Gripe water

Simply put

#18 Gripe water » 2014-04-09 10:41

Ok Red Antz, simply put there are Judges who cannot be corrupted and others who are corruptible.
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Gripe water

Let hope there is a court decision before April 27th

#17 Parishman » 2014-04-09 10:22

Country men don't be surprised to hear that the UPP legal group is planning another strategy for April 27th to continue their governance. It appears we are heading towards a constitutional crisis; and trust me the ACLM fraction has NO respect for our constitution especially the little group of former teachers (turn liars/lawyers).
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Parishman

Cupid

#16 Benita » 2014-04-09 09:45

Maybe the Attorney General should public state his stance on Justices Blenman and Thom hearing the appeal. Did the Justices not came clean and claim their links to Antigua? Did the Attorney General not agreed to the Justices hearing the appeals stating that he is confident that they will be fair and deliver a fair decision? Did the Justices not ask the Attorney General for a public apology for statements made in the public by a political group about a particular Justice sitting on the case? Did the Attorney General not accepted the charge to getting the public apology without standing his ground as he had no control over the said political group? Quite a lot of other coincidences if I do say so myself. Did the Attorney General drop the ball on giving the best representation to his client(s)???? Wonder, wondering, wonderer....
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Benita

AIDING AND ABETTING

#15 GRAY FARM MAN » 2014-04-09 09:32

The author of these innuendoes Shoul be bold enough when taking such serious swipes against the independence of the Judiciary; and you Caribarena is simply aiding and abetting this nauseating unsault against the institution. The AG writing to the Court seeking a decision date is highly irregular. Has he had cause to have done so while in private practice on behalf of a private client? No! He would have said it is not done but because of his Governmental role, he believes he can do anything. I find this author to be somewhat sexist. If they were all men residing over this matter, would your comments be the same? Surely not.
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GRAY FARM MAN

@ Gripe water

#14 Red Antz » 2014-04-09 09:28

Unfortunately ignorance seems to be limitless! You didn't complain when the shoe was on the other foot! The ALP won the case against the four constituencies for opening late in 2009! It took over a year for the Court of Appeal to give a decision in favour of the UPP...not a peep from you then!

Idiots like you cause us to have no confidence in our own!
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Time To Act

#13 Overseas » 2014-04-09 08:45

Since persons are bent on not laying the blame where it should obviously be, why not ask the PM to set a date so the court has no choice but to rule so as to facilitate the election process before the set date. You are burning holes in your pants ** from sitting in your seat too long Mr Prime Minister. Time to act!!!!
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Overseas

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#12 John Athill » 2014-04-09 07:25

It appears that both Louise Blenman and Gerthel Thom should both have recused themselves from this case.
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John Athill

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#11 Onlooker » 2014-04-09 07:13

The electoral machinery is still not ready thanks to the ineptitude and miscalculations of the PM, who is the Minister responsible for the readiness of the elections. even if the decisions were given, the elections could not be held before May or June.
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Onlooker

ABEC

#10 Rasts T » 2014-04-09 07:13

Up to now voters list is not ready claims and objections court still going on then persons may apeal their claim before a list can be ready so dont blame the court blame the stupid rulling party
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Rasts T

How about following the A&B constitution

#9 Justice » 2014-04-09 07:08

The letter and spirit of the A&B constitution did not expect the PM, UPP and ABEC to wait until the days just before elections to take care of their constitutional responsibilities. Read Part 3 from section 59-73 of the constitution on link below then post.
pdba.georgetown.edu/constitutions/antigua/antigua-barbuda.html
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Justice

All Corrupt

#8 Gripe water » 2014-04-09 06:41

They should strip them of their legal profession, they are all corrupt. Do not expect any justice coming out of the CCA.
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Gripe water

Truth

#7 Gripe water » 2014-04-09 06:34

It is clear for all to see, the Court's delay benefits the Opposition agenda, legal luminary for the ALP had a positive outlook after the hearing. So what does that say about the outcome, justice is definitely blinded by partisan politics. There is no justice, wait and you will acknowledge my **sment as truth.
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@ @ Kennedy

#6 Skyewill » 2014-04-09 06:30

You are talking foolishness. what does that have to do with elections being constitutionally called? is that not the job for law enforcement? Do the people not have the right to vote for who they want? Every election you want to bring that same argument when people are saying they want a better life from the people who promised to make it so. Go to you justice system for that answer. BLOGGER "Phillip Kennedy" is expressing the sentiments of many others, do they have that right? It corruption a thing of the pass under this administration? ALL ANU want the election NOW! I say let the record spin the song must end and a new tune must play and music change over time!
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Skyewill

small thinker

#5 josephine son » 2014-04-09 06:26

the writer must know the facts surrounding the subject he is writing about,if so he attempt to bring clarity to the subject shows lack of sophistication
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josephine son

So why have the court not made a determination

#4 Skyewill » 2014-04-09 06:20

This is a very important matter and the court should be allowed to do it's work. The constitution never intended for anything "ANYTHING" to stop the election so it is not the court that is holding election up neither is the RIGHT TO APPEAL which is proper to do in such important matters. People stay calm we will know what is next soon. Just stay civil and keep the peace. what I noticed in life is that TIME never sleep and 27th April will come in less than 3 weeks with or without us. Be vigilant and ready.
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Skyewill

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#3 @ Kennedy » 2014-04-09 05:36

The fact that you're on this site probably means that you have read/listened to the taped accounts of corruption by persons now clamoring to run the country. Are you concerned by that? Have you read the item in today's issue which spoke of the number of persons taking advantage of educational loans? Will the society be improved as a result of the UPP? Will the motto of 'check yr Minister' once more become the clarion call under the ALP?
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@ Kennedy

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#2 Curiouser& curiouser » 2014-04-09 05:30

The writer forgot to mention that the 2nd Judge on the Appeals is Gerthel Thom, who was appointed Attorney-General by then P.M. Lester Bird!!! Curiouser & curiouser.
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Curiouser& curiouser

RE: Appealing to the Court of Appeal

#1 Phillip Kennedy » 2014-04-09 04:26

I agree that the CCA's decision appears delayed only so far as the PM has determined that without its ruling he cant\won't call the date. But seriously, given the benchmark of time needed to decide, CARIBBEAN COURTS aren't usually swift nor fast nor timely in rendering decisions. The court should take its time to decide on these important cases where the essence of our democratic process is at stake.

What is most alarming is how the PM mismanaged the ELECTION READY process especially after he messed it up following 2009 election. With all his unconstitutional interference to date, it appears that he might have calculated a challenge by the opposition, which had he lost he would have done, inorder to squat. His time is up n he wants to punish the nation with more crime n joblessness!
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