High Court judge rules in favour of Salisbury residents arrested after protests

Scene in Salisbury in May 2015

High Court Judge, Bernie Stephenson, has ruled in favour of residents of Salisbury who were arrested following protest action which rocked the community in 2015.

In the long-running matter, attorney representing the residents, Cara Shillingford had filed a motion questioning the constitutionality of the Riot Act, under which they were arrested.

Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan had asked the court to strike out the motion.

However, Stephenson ruled that there were merits in Shillingford’s motion and the matter is now set for May 24, 2018.

Over 50 residents from Salisbury were issued with summons after they are charged under the Riot Act following the protests.

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.

Both actions were described as “riotous” by the police.

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

“I am happy with the decision,” she said after the ruling by Judge Stephenson.

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40 Comments

  1. April 22, 2018

    The Punjab PhD and his DLP cronies created that mess and now it’s up to the Courts to clean it up; what a SHAME. Justice will be served one day soon.

  2. Conscious
    April 21, 2018

    The Aid Bank should take the government to court for failure to provide roads to tbe farmers to work to repay their loans.

  3. mine
    April 21, 2018

    From what I am seeing in this pic road blocking by the Salisbury resident how could a judge favor them for wrong doing. What kind of system is this. Lord put a helping hand.

    • April 24, 2018

      You leave in a bubble is it the first country where you see people block road? You are either from the planet of the Apes or first cousin of a ************

  4. April 21, 2018

    I don’t know if its poor presentation of cases to the court that causing the criminal justice system in Dominica to suffer losses in simple cases that completely putting people life and safety in jeopardy. This is very simple people have a right to demonstrates, but when it comes to blocking highways, or service roads to prove a point this is clear violation of traffic laws, and therefore they should be held responsible for such violation under the law. There are other ways that people can prove their point without putting other people life in danger. I disagree with the court decision, and the government should pass legislation to prevent this type of behavior from occurring again in Dominica.

  5. Self
    April 21, 2018

    Why don’t Skerrit leave the people along? They say Grandbay people bad but doh test BAWI PEOPLE.

  6. Self
    April 21, 2018

    Anon, the word been is the past participle form of be, it is used after have.

  7. April 20, 2018

    Bawi is not for sale, allu can cross, if allu want, but we, jean bawi are in for the long ride :-D :-D

  8. Nuffsaid
    April 20, 2018

    I well waiting to hear Workers people talk about the judge this and the judge that again like before in this article:
    https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/crime-court-law/high-court-rules-in-favor-of-govt-in-general-election-complaint/

    I guess the judge good now

  9. latitude e5550
    April 20, 2018

    labour will be there for the next 20 years lol

  10. April 20, 2018

    Skerrit must go

    • viewsexpressed
      April 20, 2018

      Yes, he is irrelevant and must go. A waste of time and the worse PM we have seen.

  11. Man bite dogs
    April 20, 2018

    I cannot believe Dominica hasn’t changed most of it slavery laws still exist in Dominica, from 1897 to 2018 and a High Court Judge could rule in favour of Salisbury stones throwing hooligans against the police and public transport on the highway, what is this a comedy island or what?? Most of the lawyers in Dominica keep using outdated laws to penalize or disadvantage a person rights, that crap must be stopped and very soon too Britain has changed most of their outdated laws why we cannot bring our laws into line. Baroness Scotland was a lawmaker in England she knows how to go about it ask her if she could help with advising.

    • viewsexpressed
      April 20, 2018

      The hooligans are the bobolist sitting in government for the past 18 years. They have killed our islands reserves and make our people poor. The worse set of politicians Dominica has ever seen. The Bin Bobol, and other thievery taking place due to poor governance, poor monitoring and a waste of states resources. So Man go on biting your dogs and stop talking woof woof in our ears, you are a disturbance to the peace, you and your weak, incompetent PM, waste of time Corrupt Labour Government. They must go, they are hopeless and clueless.

    • Ibo France
      April 21, 2018

      Pathetic! Completely misconstrued what was written in the article. I repeat for the umpteenth time. You are functionally illiterate and that’s the reason for your incessant, opprobrious remarks. Your despicable, asinine and unwarranted verbal assaults on everyone who doesn’t support your political views reflects exactly who you are – a person of microscopic intellect.

    • World's Moistest Jheri Curl
      April 21, 2018

      All you always bringing up England and America in Dominica business.
      If England so good why they looking to deport you
      and when they deport you don’t forget is Dominica you have to come back to
      after you denigrate us

      • Man bites dogs
        April 23, 2018

        Who’s this idiotic person above? No wonder you are a loser ,scumbags so-called Workers supporter!!!!!!!

  12. April 20, 2018

    Is this not the same judge that was been called unjust after her ruling in the election matter, the ruling went against UWP.

  13. Climate Change
    April 20, 2018

    Finally! Finally one went against the cabal. In another Democratic country, dating back from 2004, when the cabal took power after the death of Pierro, not one case they would have won. But you know it’s almost impossible to win when you always own home Court advantage, always own umpires and referees and always own scorers and commentators. But sadly such is the case in Dominica and will only get worse as long as Roosevelt Skerrit remains prime minister or holds any leadership position.

  14. mine
    April 20, 2018

    AS i heard the case is not over .

  15. Massacre
    April 20, 2018

    Skerrit must GO!

    • Huh!!
      April 20, 2018

      No! #LINTONMUSTGO!

  16. Ibo France
    April 20, 2018

    The Skerrit led administration is anti-progressive and anti-people. They used archaic and draconian laws to prosecute and persecute the poorest of the poor for demonstrating for access to their livelihood. Imagine, they resorted to 1897 legislation to intimidate, hound and arrest the least among us for agitating for feeder roads to their farm to ply their trade. People, do you realize a common trend? Every time citizens stand up for their rights, the military might of the State is used against them. The Police Force is being severely manipulated by the government. The hierarchy of the police force thinks that it is their solemn duty to appease Mr. Skerrit. The police officers show up in full military fatigue, armed to the teeth, to suppress their own and trample on the people’s aspirations. May the residents of Salisbury be vindicated by the court. May all right thinking and decent minded people show Skerrit and his henchmen the exit door next general election.

    • Man bite dogs
      April 20, 2018

      Ibo, you can hope till you get to be a blueass fly Mr clown Lennox Linton, will be out long before Prime minister Skerrit, as for Hector John, of Salisbury bet he will be in a Rum shop in Roseau, barvaing in a glass of Rum, but time will tell blue bellys parasites so-called Linton, scroungers party, will soon be kicking stones on their way out.

      • Ibo France
        April 20, 2018

        @Man Barbecues Stray Dogs
        You are perpetually livid. Your cult-like support for your demigod, Skerrit, makes you look and sound like a nincompoop. No sensible human being puts all their trust and confidence in another human bring. Every human being errs . You see a man’s face but you don’t see his heart. A smiling face doesn’t mean a smiling heart. With your twisted reasoning, Skerrit is omniscient and his government is beyond reproach. Why, then, is Dominica in such a state of economic paralysis if the PM is infallible?

      • Nac Vibes
        April 21, 2018

        Oh dear oh dear your sorry *** crooks will be out one day and there is a prison cell with each of their names on it. Oh and don’t bother looking for the key when we lock the door.

    • Not over
      April 20, 2018

      Most countries in the world have legislation to prevent that kind of hooliganism which went on there. Even if they changed from the Riot Act, they still have it in their criminal law and prosecute people who engage in this type of behaviour. The world does not revolve around Salisbury and they are not law unto themselves. The children who could not write their exams need protection too.

  17. Truth Be Told
    April 20, 2018

    Dominicans are we as a nation serious? This riot act was passed to control slaves! These are the important things to be done and reviewed towards building a real nation but instead we have a Government that is happy to simply rename mountains, streets and airports! “Shillingford said the Riot Act, which was passed in 1897, was unconstitutional.” But this to me is putting it mildly. I cannot believe we have laws meant to control and enslave us still on our books after gaining independence in 1978? Why then did we gain independence? 1897 to 1978? Now we are in 2018!

    • Toto
      April 20, 2018

      I follow your sentiment man but get your facts straight. There were no slaven in Dominica in 1897.

    • foolishness
      April 20, 2018

      The Riot Act was not passed to control slaves although it may have been used to do so. The UK had a Riot Act as far back as the 1700s and so did many of the countries in the Commonwealth. Most of these countries continue to have these provisions in their criminal statutes.

  18. Peace
    April 20, 2018

    I’m not a legal scholar but does not the Constitution trump an act of 1897 since the constitution, the supreme law of the land was enacted after? I’m only asking because I don’t know the answer and would be grateful to be informed. Thank you – Peace
    p.s. I really would love to know.

  19. Jah Kal
    April 20, 2018

    My people stay strong they cannot touch us our independence they don’t like the hard working people of that peice of rock call BAWI.

  20. Jah Kal
    April 20, 2018

    Great job Miss Shillingford we from Bawi want to thank you for standing by your people some in hight offices thought they would drage us to court and use 1897 law against us tell them come again . 1897 what is that ? we have a population of 72 thousand and nobody in there new a place they call dominica. THANKS AGAIN MISS SHILLINGFORD. Law of 1897 thats garbage.

    • foolishness
      April 20, 2018

      I suppose an Act being old makes it garbage. There is an old law from the 1800s that gave married women the right to own property among other things. I guess that is unconstitutional and garbage too because it is old.

      • Ibo France
        April 20, 2018

        Laws are not set in stone and need to be reviewed and altered from time to time. Correct me if I’m wrong. Is there still a law on the books that if a Rasta is found trespassing on someone’s property, the owner has a right to kill him/her? Yes, some laws need to be scratched from the books.

  21. My bad
    April 20, 2018

    I cannot believe Skerrit and Tony we’re still at war with the hard working farmers of Dominica that just wanted roads so they could go to their farms and be in a better position to help provide food for the people of Dominica, which would also help our economy. Boy you see that Tony and Skerrit

  22. whizzkidd
    April 20, 2018

    ###***CRICKETS****

  23. name
    April 20, 2018

    This crap which passes for journalism in this country. We deserve better. On what basis did the lawyer say the riot act was constitutional. Which constitutional provision did it violate? On what basis did Astaphan argue that it should be thrown out? I mean these are the bare details that should be in a story on this name. I have noticed a lazy approach on the part of DNO. It has changed for the worst from what I remember in its early days.

    ADMIN: The ruling has not yet been released. We will be able to provide more details when the ruling is available.

    • KID ON THE BLOCK
      April 20, 2018

      The truth offends. DNO… The ruling has not been released, right? Read your headline story!

      ADMIN: The judge has already made the ruling, one of the sources for this information is stated in the article. The written document which contains the ruling and details of the judgment is not yet available to us. This document is expected to be made available by the court.

      • mine
        April 20, 2018

        well said, I heard this morning that there are other things pending in this matter.

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