UPDATE: ECSC upholds Attorney General’s appeal in Salisbury riot case

An appeal by the attorney general of Dominica challenging the ruling of high court judge Bernie Stephenson in the Salisbury Riot case has been upheld by Judges of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

In his appeal, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, lawyer for the State, said the appeal raises serious questions in law and it has “strong prospects of success.”

However, Justice Birnie Stephenson ruled that there were merits in lawyer for the Salisbury people Cara Shillingford’s arguments.

In her 16-page ruling on the matter, Justice Stephenson had said, “The Court has taken cognizance of the fact that what is being claimed includes a breach of the Claimants Constitutional Rights and this Court is of the considered view that given the nature of the Claimants case, striking out would be inappropriate. Further considering the allegations being made by the Claimants, the Court should be slow and hesitant to drive the Claimants from the seat of judgment.”

In its ruling, the Court of Appeal said, “the Learned Judge did not address the constitutional matters raised on both sides and hence her decision cannot be sustained.” They have since remitted the matter back to the high court to be heard before a different Judge.

Astaphan said that the decision of the court of appeal means that the matter will be further delayed. “It’s unfortunate because it means further delays for the issue of whether the charges are valid or not,” he said.

Cara Shillingford remains optimistic and said that the State is to be blamed for the appeal.

“The State in appealing against the decision of the high court further delayed the matter. This means the Salisbury people will be before the court for a longer period. I thought the State should have conceded…the court of Appeal is of the view that the trial Judge did not deal with all the matters before her,” Shillingford said.

Over 50 residents from Salisbury were issued with summons after they were charged under the Riot Act following the protests. Both actions were described as “riotous” by the police.

Shillingford said the Riot Act, which was passed in 1897, was unconstitutional.

In May and June 2015 the community was engulfed in disturbances as the police and residents faced off. The first action was in protest of poor farm road conditions in the area.

It was eventually broken up by the police and the second protest, in June, took place after the police swooped into the community and arrested six residents on allegations that they were part of the first protest.

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13 Comments

  1. Bee
    October 3, 2019

    You serious family? What’s appalling is that you would frown upon anyone for standing for their constitutional rights. What you are saying in essence is that they deserve to be treated badly because they dare to not support the government. what’s wrong with selling bananas btw? Nothing is wrong except that the DLP which you appear to idolize killed the market many years ago.

    • Big
      October 6, 2019

      What rubbish stoning police trying to set their vehicles on fire is a constitutional right

  2. It's time man
    October 3, 2019

    Tony is desperate because he realize his bank of Skerrit account that was opened on the backs of poor black people’s children is about to be closed, so he trying to see how much more he can have time to stockpile. But it’s time that we the people of Dominica begin to judge these dishonorable gang of rotten teeths man. We don’t have to wait on the local court or ESCS for justice because we are smart enough to judge our people in our own way, without breaking any law. It’s time we stop that madness taking place here and set our country back.

  3. Dominican
    October 3, 2019

    All that has been achieved is that the case is still deemed undecided, after four years and will have to be tried again, unless the litigant drops it. It is not a victory, it is a nothing
    and where do you go with that S. C. ? Witnesses memories go stale and others are no longer available to testify. I am with Clara on this and the state would certainly not do itself any favours by pursuing it. It smells like a dead horse to me.

  4. Not Me Alone
    October 2, 2019

    What you expect when we have a very corrupt cabal that is able to buy an election result? These guys have enough money to buy any result they want and mark you, our judges and magistrates around the region are not known for justice. It’s a team that have players all over the world playing in different areas so I am not surprised. So cricket umpires are not paid to deliver result of a game then?

  5. dee
    October 2, 2019

    you all know I dere thinking
    ”Is Skerrit ever going to really realize what the loss of Ross means to Dominica ? is he ever going to publicly apologize to Dominicans or express any regret that Dominica lost Ross under his watch ?
    I just think Mister has become a different kind of creature to when he grew up in Vielle Case.
    where are the four (4) replacements he had lined up to replace Ross ? Yet those Portsmouth people most affected by Ross’s departure still remain moo moo . but how my people come dere nuh ? I dunno nah .

  6. Ibo France
    October 2, 2019

    I have long lost confidence in the judicial system in Dominica and the Caribbean. More than 50 percent of their decisions have been overturned by the Privy Council.

    • Dalit
      October 3, 2019

      Yet when Linton was proven by the Privy Council to be a fraud you all cried foul.

      You people are sick.

      • Pipo
        October 5, 2019

        What that got to do with the price of fish? Linton lost his case is true against Pynard Byrne and accepted it. Where is Pynard Byrne now? It is like winning the battle but losing the war. Today, Linton’s name blazoned high, giving Skerrit headache and loose bowel but Pynard Byrne long forgotten.

  7. Bush Lawyer
    October 2, 2019

    DNO, Is the headline correctly stated? Shouldn”t it be appeal judges upheld appeal of Cara Shillingford lawyer for Salisbury appellants?

    ADMIN: Read the article.

  8. Family
    October 2, 2019

    It’s appalling to see how much you have lost and become a laughing stock my Salisbury family! At one time you were one of the most youngest and prosperous person in Salisbury. You lost your thriving business because the people you trusted lost the election. With the help of family, you were able to survive. You resorted to the agricultural and have worked hard continuously. Your hatred and animosity for the government did not stop even though it was the UWP that caused your business demise. You were arrested and your legal bills kept mounting. Was it worth it cousin? You are presently facing new legal bills at your age, Your idol LL, how much has he contributed? I highly recommend that you wrap yourself in humility and get out from the political arena. Now you going to have to sell $ banana again.

    • JAH KAL
      October 3, 2019

      Don’t worry about us in Salisbury we a well grounded and independent people and thinkers we know what we want and we stand for what we believe people like u a so lazy the party is coming to end very soon make sure when u leaving walk with your doggy bag their will be no more .Bunch of lazy u no what skerrit must go and soon too.People like u we waiting for on that peice of rock we call BAWI.

      • St joe
        October 3, 2019

        You guys turn lazy with the most lazy mp. Walk well

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