High Court judge orders written submissions in Salisbury Riot matter

The matter has to do with protest action in Salisbury in 2015
The matter has to do with protest action in Salisbury in 2015

High Court Judge, Bernie Stephenson, has ordered the parties in the Hector John et al Salisbury Riot matter to file written submissions in response to each other’s oral submissions on or before November 30, 2016 and thereafter the Court shall rule on the matter.

She has also ordered that all submissions are to be filed both on paper and electronically.

Justice Stephenson had granted a stay in the case involving some Salisbury residents who were arrested and charged under the Riot Act of 1897 following protest action in the community in 2015.

Through their lawyer, Cara Shillingford, the residents had filed a constitutional motion challenging the constitutionality of the Riot Act.

On Wednesday, Anthony Astaphan SC, along with Solicitor General Tamika Hyacinth Burton and State attorney Arthlyn Nesty, told the court that the Defendants were on an “exercise in futility” since they should have waited until the matter was determined by the criminal court before filing their motion.

Astaphan said that the Riot Act was in order and since the defendants had broken the law, the police were “right to charge them.”

But in her submissions, lead attorney for the Claimants Cara Shillingford along with Julian Prevost and Ronald Charles told the Court that the Riot Act which was enacted in Dominica in 1897 is not consistent with the values of today’s society and they contravene the provisions of the Dominica Constitution. The British, she said, have since repealed it’s Riot Act since 1973 and it was unfortunate that this “barbaric and archaic law” was still on the books of Dominica.

The defendants Hector John, Hilary John, Thomas Louis and Lennary John were summoned to court after they allegedly took part in protests in the community on May 11 and June 11, 2015.

On the days mentioned, Salisbury was engulfed in disturbances as the police and residents faced off. The first action, on May 11, was in protest of poor farm road conditions in the area.

It was eventually broken up by the police and a second protest, on June 11, 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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  1. Terror Dominica
    October 6, 2016

    When will we see the writs issued in the GON case? When?

    Instead, we are seeing protesters treated like terrorists!

  2. Devil's Advocate
    October 6, 2016

    The labour Party government too hopeless. They should try to be more like the United Workers Party Government. Grand Bay had a protest during the Workers government rule and police shoot a fellar right on the step to his mother’s house. Nobody dared bark!
    If Skerrit doesn’t know how to be a dictator and deal with a riot like how Edison dealt with a protest then Skerrit and his party should resign and let Lennox and Workers Party show Dominicans how to kill man during a protest.
    We need a dictator like Lennox to make Dominicans happy.

  3. Freelance
    October 6, 2016

    I thought this judge time expired and there was a replacement judge.

  4. Delvin
    October 6, 2016

    Why is it in America a protester at a rally with a sign saying \”Bill Clinton is a rapist\” but when Dominicans protest they want to jail them in the courts.

    • Say what
      October 6, 2016

      Sor sort you living in America nor? Go there they killing black men like cockroach!

  5. Real possie
    October 5, 2016

    So today it’s ok to smoke and posses weed? That law was back in the day, even America has it legal in some states. If that is you all defense, hmmmmm these people will be found guilty. Lol. DNO self have a blogger cursing bad words but because they are workers they let it through.

    • FORKIT
      October 7, 2016


  6. October 5, 2016

    This is political vendetta against the opposition.

  7. Real!!!!!
    October 5, 2016

    It is important for folks to demonstrate if they are unhappy with their conditions in a country were they are paying taxes.

    Senior Counsel Tony in Lebanon and other Far East countries people are demonstrating for their rights every other day.

  8. October 5, 2016

    Justice delayed, is Justice Denied, in my opinion we are Heading to the Next General Elections With that Debacle, still in our Courts. You Read it First on D.N.O.

  9. Papa Dom
    October 5, 2016

    Is the term “an exercise in futility” the only thing that tony knows? The riot act is not applicable in today’s Dominica and any lawyer should know that. Furthermore the people cannot be charged under this act because it was never evoked in the first place. Once again tony has given bad advice to the government but stands to benefit handsomely from it. I would like to know why the AG who is being paid from the public purse not available to represent the state, is he that incompetent?

  10. Whistler
    October 5, 2016

    that cases needs to be thrown out quickly…as dominica is presently a canister in waiting trust me…the DLP has brought dominica to the f……dust……..it’s time to exhale in this dam place….

    • Concern citizen
      October 6, 2016

      U all that want to sit there and wait till the end of time, and allow the judge and their a towage to keep D/ca under siege
      Let us all go out and put D/ca in check

      • Oppressed Dominica
        October 6, 2016

        Revolution is the only way. We have nothing to lose now. Nothing!

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