From left: Skerrit, Saint Jean, Joseph, Green

The long awaited Court of Appeal battle in the dual citizenship case between Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his Education Minister Petter Saint Jean and the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), is set for hearing in Dominica on Tuesday November 13, 2012 at the Parliament building in Roseau.

The case is down on the cause list of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court(ECSC), which sits in Dominica from November 12-16, 2012. It will be the first sitting in Dominica for newly appointed Chief Justice, Janice Perreira.

In January this year, High Court judge Gertel Thom, rejected petitions by United Workers Party election candidates, Maynard Joseph and Ron Green in which they argued that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean, were disqualified from being elected because they were in breach of the electoral code, having held French citizenship on nomination day ahead of the 2009 December 18 general election.

Justice Thom, in her ruling, said the petitioners had failed to prove the charges of dual citizenship against Skerrit and Saint Jean.

The judgement stated that both petitions were dismissed because the petitioners had “failed to establish their case”.
“I find that Mr. St Jean was not on nomination day, December 2, 2009 disqualified pursuant to Section 32 (a) of the Constitution of Dominica from being elected as a Member of Parliament,” the judge wrote.

The UWP candidates are stating among their several grounds for appeal that the learned trial Judge “erred in law and came to conclusions which no reasonable judicial officer would come to, and or acted irrationally and/or perversely in making the findings referred to.”

They are also claiming that the Judge was “wrong in failing to find that an inference, however weak, could be drawn or a case to answer had been made out on the basis on the facts referred to either individually or collectively, that the Respondents had each voluntarily acquired or traveled on French passports, and that their failure to give evidence to rebut these inferences strengthened the case against them and permitted the court to conclude that the Appellants had proved their cases.”