BREAKING NEWS: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court overturns High Court decision in Dominica election matter

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) has overturned the decision of the Dominica high court to uphold a request for judicial review in a treating matter against some Dominica Labour Party (DLP) candidates in the 2014 general election in Dominica.

In his application, counsel for the DLP, Anthony Astaphan, SC, claimed that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to issue the summons and the matter was one of an election petition which should be heard in the high court. The presiding judge, Justice Birnie Stephenson agreed.

The appellants (Mervin John Baptiste, Antoine Defoe, and Edincot St. Valle), through their lawyer Cara Shillingford, appealed that matter which was heard in October 2019 and the decision reserved.

The ECSC’s decision to uphold the appellants’ appeal was carried by a majority of two to one.

Astaphan told Dominica News Online (DNO) moments after news of the decision was received that on behalf of his clients, he is going to proceed to file an application for leave to appeal the ECSC’s decision at the CCJ.

More details will follow.

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  1. Stressfree
    May 29, 2020

    Two things struck me in the response by the Attorneys , first Ms. Clara Shillingford was humble,calm and very articulate in her response giving the reasons why she felt the decision went in her clienteles favor and expressed confidence that even if the matter goes to the CCJ the basis for the decision is enshrined in the law and she does not expect that to change no matter what level of court hears the case, compared that to the response from Astaphan which was emotional , talking about disappointment, hurt and surprised at the decision but at the same time admitting that he had not read the ruling of the court. So the question I asked myself what cause the surprise, hurt and disappointment to Tony? it can’t be the ruling because he admits not knowing what it entails since in the moment he had not read the ruling . Is his surprise, hurt and disappointment based on his expectation that the courts should have automatically ruled in his clients favor no matter what the law says ?

    • May 30, 2020

      And although he have. Not read it..they are gonna foolish and clients foolish

  2. Lin clown
    May 28, 2020

    UWP,seem to forget,LINTON lost,won,and lost again in the PINARD BYRNE case.Mathew CARA has lost more cases than she has WON,a bad ratio.We all know ST,VALLE,MERVIN and DEFOE are POTO UWP supporters.On that alone they are going to LOSE.These guys are not neutral Dominicans.They are members and supporters of UWP.We Labourites are going to FIGHT to the end.

  3. Enough is enough
    May 28, 2020

    We must not give Tony and Skerrit one more day to plan and steal their way out again. It’s time for us to obey the instructions of Jesus below:

    “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:12- New American Standard version

  4. Nuff talk
    May 28, 2020

    It’s time for us to decipline judge justice Bernie Stephenson and Tony by all means possible. Until we decipline them our trouble will not go away

  5. Ibo France
    May 28, 2020

    Electoral fraud; bribery of the voters; the military might of the State; cowardice of ‘journalists’; deafening silence and widespread indifference within the law fraternity; the snail pace reaction of the judiciary has kept the DLP in power for twenty consecutive years. The failure of Mr. Linton to win a general election in Dominica has nothing to do with his leadership capabilities.
    I put a lot of blame on the local news media. Instead of being proactive and investigative , these stenographers masquerading as journalists only regurgitate what is said, verbatim, by Skerrit and his plasticine disciples.

  6. Debris
    May 28, 2020

    Aye maybe I tehbeh or something but I don’t understand any of that. Can someone please explain for me in layman’s terms?

  7. Batibou River
    May 28, 2020

    All of us should force Skerrit to pay all these Court and Legal cost. Skerrit is trying to get a court ruling in his favour even though he is very much in the wrong! Of course Astaphan is laughing all the way to the bank. Dominicans, all you are on the brink of starving and you are being told that there is no money! Now you all see where all our money goes…!

  8. dissident
    May 28, 2020

    Lady Cara Shillingford.

    That’s how I honor you my dear CHAMPION for justice in Waitukubuli!!!!!
    I honor you for your bravery…… you bring hope and comfort for all underprivileged victims of justice in our Waitukubuli!!
    I even mark you above many of our senior, toothless, coward lawyers in our crabbish society. You are a force to reckon with.

    My Lady take a bow and be blessed!!!

    Big up to Mervin, St Valle and Defoe…. you to will be remembered as CHAMPIONS for justice. De haters of justice and democracy could NEVER have their names written on that spiritual ledger!!

    De journey is on……we know that to be JUSTICE!!!!!

    • MetYo
      May 29, 2020

      Lmao @ the people who cant understand what is being reported. It’s alot that you guys don’t understand that’s why you are taken for a ride everytime by politicians.

      • dissident
        May 29, 2020

        You mean de outcome of the case hurt you too?
        Go to de court and cry nuh.
        Lady Cara Shillingford did not represent any politician.
        Imagine a senior counsel was hurt so bad ……u to??????
        You prefer to stand against the people????

        We de people are honored by this….. senior counsel hurt

        Take it like a woman
        DOH COMPLAIN!!!!!!

  9. Ibo France
    May 28, 2020

    Even though this is a glimmer of hope against entrenched corruption by the Skerrit-led administration, it’s a damning indictment against the justice system in the OECS. This long, inexplicable and indefensible delay of justice for the injured party is egregious. Justice delayed is justice denied. The DLP wins elections precisely because of wanton corruption of the electoral system and the inordinate delays of our courts.
    *Delay of Justice is Injustice❗

  10. L C Matthew
    May 28, 2020

    I will say again this young lady Cara Shillingford will be an icon some day. We need more of her kind. I must add that the Caribbean justice system is a bloody joke and a shame. Why does something like that have to take that long when the ones who are involved continue to violate. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  11. me
    May 28, 2020

    Uhmm….so what was the high court’s decision on the judicial review that was overturned.

    What a bunch of gibberish.

    • foreign observer
      May 28, 2020

      Well if Anthony Astaphan says he’s going to take this to the CCJ, then the DLP lost. Clear enough?
      Or, you could look at the previous articles on the subject…

      • Galileo
        May 28, 2020

        You make absolutely no sense. What is all of this going to achieve? I listened to Q95 with fury today as people celebrated a so called victory. Mr Skerrit and his colleagues are still in power we continue to stagnate, injustice persist and they and their friends continue to flourish. What victory? Give me a break.

    • Observer
      May 28, 2020

      When the matter of treating at elections (remember the Donnie Mc Clauklin show at the Windsor park and other mega stars) was filed following the 2014 elections results, Senior Counsel Astaphans argued at the time that the matter, a criminal one that was filed in the magistrate court, arrest warrants were issued for certain MPs, was not properly done. He further argued that the matter should have been properly heard in the High Court and not the magistrate’s court. The matter went to the High Court and the High Court judge agreed with Astaphans. The complainants appealed the judge’s decision.

      In this latest matter, the Appeal’s Court overturned the High Court’s decision. So Astaphans has decided to go to the Highest Court in the Land. That is strange because I always thought that the Appeals Court was the highest level for election matters.

      • Joe Linton
        May 29, 2020

        Observer the decision of the appeal court removed the notion that this matter should be treated as an election petition and as a criminal case hence the reason for the leap frog to the ccj.

    • Me
      May 29, 2020

      It is you who pronounces that “bunch of gibberish”!

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