High Court to rule on UWP court matter

The UWP is challenging the validity of the nomination of President Eluid Williams
The UWP is challenging the validity of the nomination of President Eluid Williams

Parties involved in a court matter challenging the nomination of Eluid Williams as President of Dominica will know by the end of this week whether it will be struck out by the High Court

The matter was brought up on Monday and Justice Lionel Jones reserved his judgement and ruled that his decision will be made known to all by the end of this week.

The opposition United Workers Party had taken the matter to court challenging the validity of the election of Williams as President of Dominica.

The UWP in its claim form filed in the Roseau High Court, dated October 26, 2012, by attorney J. Gildon Richards and claimant, Hector John, lists Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Speaker Alix Boyd-Knights and the Attorney General Levi Peter as the defendants.

“The nomination by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Mr. Eluid Williams for election to the office of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, without first consulting with the Leader of the opposition in observance of compliance with the provisions of section 19 sub sections (1) was unconstitutional, null, void and of no lawful effect,” one of the petitions filed in the court documents reads.

In court on Monday Senior Counsel Alick Lawrence, representing the government, argued that it is only the Court of Appeal, not the High Court, that has the jurisdiction to determine whether one is qualified to be President or not.

“In effect, section 22 (1) of the Laws of Dominica states that ‘the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether any person is qualified to be nominated for election, or elected, as President,’” Lawrence pointed out.

However, Richards insisted that the process leading to the installation of President Williams was illegal.

The case was first heard on November 28, 2012 before Justice Brian Cottle, who represented the Chief Justice who was unable to make it to the court hearing. During the proceedings he asked the UWP lawyer if they wanted him to recuse (remove) him-self from the matter and ask for an ‘outside’ Judge to which Richards agreed.

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28 Comments

  1. stehen
    February 21, 2013

    all you too fresh in DOMINICA what are you doing with a president?

  2. stehen
    February 21, 2013

    is there a ROYAL FAMILY in DOMINICA? if not the election of president should but balloted

  3. jany
    February 21, 2013

    It seems to me that the only thing you people will agree to is what is set out by the United WoRmers Party. Mr. E. Williams is an accomplished Dominican, just like anyone out there he deserves to be in that post. Get a life and stop playing poli-tricks, and fooling people out there with you all lies and sortea. first of all, all you guys want is to get back in power so you all can go back to business as usual. It ain’t happening, so go ahead and keep playing tricks.

  4. Prefer to be unknown
    February 19, 2013

    In response to ‘A Voice’, my friend your argument does not at all hold water!! Why????? Because you are making and excuse for those within the government who have wronged the people!!!! They are responsible for their actions in disregarding the constitution under the leadership of our ‘dear PM’ who set the example by saying that not even the constitution could stop him and that the Dominican people are ‘too free!’ Secondly, you know very well, while making your argument on behalf of those who wish to misrepresent the facts, that even though the opposition had put forward an alternative, that alternative would not have been accepted considering the difference in numbers as it relates to reps on the government side as opposed to those on the opposition side. Besides, why should one seeking to uphold integrity go along with actions which promote the opposite to that approach in public life and legitimize it by participating in the illegal voting process to install an illegal President. Think again big man!!!!!

    • A Voice
      February 20, 2013

      Prefer to be unknown,

      Thanks for your respectful response. First of all I am in no way trying to make excuses for any political party because I support none of them as I find all of them wanting.

      So are you trying to tell me that because of the numbers against the Opposition, they should not have gone into Parliament and register their disagreement with the whole process? I will remind you my friend that one little man with a staff in his hand defeated the mighty British empire. The Opposition is playing hoop saway with Parliament and only goes in there when they have to protect their seats, hence their income. This is where the integrity comes from.

      Whether the alternative would have been accepted or not, the opposition should have been present in the Parliament and put it forward. But how can you not attend and then want to make a case against the process?

      Then if they had gone to Parliament to register their opposition to the process, how is that in any way that they are giving integrity to the process? I say to you that by not attending they gave integrity to the process because the guy became President by default. Over and over the Oppositon plays into Skerrit’s hands.

      Also Skerrit talking about no Constitution and country to free is not a reflection on Skerrit as much, but rather a reflection on us the Dominican populace. The Dominican populace should have called him out and demanded an apology and retraction, but you done know us Dominicans already; is poto we poto…

      History will show my friend, that when there was the nomination of the President, there were no voices, no representative of the people present to launch an opposition. You getting the point?

  5. Malaewau
    February 19, 2013

    Hey!! Tell me that UWP doesnt have a chest of money or some mine to be always in COURT with govt. these so called representatives should take their duty in d house. Give us some of that money to do community projects instead of lawyers. Ehbean papa
    \

  6. A Voice
    February 19, 2013

    Well, the way I see it. Yes, the process for nominating the President may have been flawed.

    But however,the day he was elected in Parliament all that can be said is that the gov’t presented their nominee, the opposition was not present to oppose and so he became the default President.

    The Opposition should have done what they are being paid to do and gone into Parliament and register their opposition to the process. But when the man is presented as the nominee and there is no one to oppose him, then what happens?

    UWP’s position of playing cat and mouse with attending Parliament (when they are receiving people’s tax money to do so) would always come back to bite them. Integrity counts…

  7. Prefer to be unknown
    February 19, 2013

    I am guessing here as a lay person, that any matter to be brought before the court, would have to be filed first before being heard. I suppose that any matter to be heard before the Court of Appeal, would first have to be ‘FILED’ with the High Court in order that it is registered on the books. However, the courts would then direct this matter to the Court of Appeal for consideration as it is a constitutional requirement. How that is done, I cannot say as I do not work within the system. But I would think that since the matter, according to the article, was to be heard by the Chief Justice, who supposedly could not attend, that they were well aware as to whose responsibility it was to hear this matter. The question is therefore, was it correct procedure for the Chief Justice to appoint a ‘lower judge’ to represent him or her? Is it within the rules? Is it correct procedure and if not, why would the Chief Justice appoint a ‘lower judge’ to represent him/her in such an important matter when it is contrary to procedure. More importantly, is this yet another example of our justice system being manipulated, not only by those lawyers who represent the PM or the ‘government’, but more worryingly by those in the highest echelons of the legal system, who should and MUST know better, but are possibly continuing to facilitate the illegal position of our PM and his government as well as all the corruption which comes along with them. If this is the case then the Chief Justice owes us an explanation and the lawyer Mr. Gildon Richards, should make this clear publicly as well as in court!

  8. Poul Bwa
    February 19, 2013

    So the defence in all cases taken against the Governement these days is not that all is above board and all transactions and decisions legal but that our courts do not have jurisdiction over the decisions and or transactions undertaken by the govt and its ministers…..

    SMH … Sad Sad day in our land I tell you….
    When you go straight to the appeals court they tell you you should go through the lower courts…

    Sad Sad day in our land ….. its just like that sign … “no credit come tomorrow”

    go low court low court sending you to high court , high court sending you appeals court and appeals court sending you back to low court …

    Where’s the justice ?

  9. sugar
    February 19, 2013

    Like it or not, Mr. Eluid Williams for the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica

    • SMH
      February 19, 2013

      No one has a Problem with MR Williams.. The issue is with the process use to remove and install the president…

      Think of the constitution and the respect for it..

      There are set procedures that were not followed.. SIMPLY

  10. Anonymous
    February 19, 2013

    Well if mr Lawrence is quoting the law correctly them Richards should refund any money paid to him for this case

    • B.E.B
      February 19, 2013

      Lawyers are like that, even though they see no morallity in taking up a case, they will end taking up that case just to fatten up their bank account

    • Not a herd follower
      February 19, 2013

      You have a point here

  11. mouth of the south
    February 19, 2013

    for some strange reason, mr liverpool always come to mind, when someone says ‘the president’…
    Mr. Williams took this post under so much misconception, he should have simply rejected the offer….

    • budman
      February 19, 2013

      he took the post under “misconception”? what the heck does that mean?

    • illegal queen
      February 19, 2013

      I agree.

  12. Massacre
    February 19, 2013

    Let Justice prevail in Dominica for once.!!

  13. Rocky Hills
    February 19, 2013

    Well the Courts in Dominica are Extremely Corrupt And does not look at issues widely.
    So i wont be expecting a rule on fairness to the Constitution…that’s why will always vow to stay-

    -Privy Council is impartial looking for discovery and All aspects to matters- Not Caribbean Courts At all.

    They are afraid to rule in the centre,third world Type low level thinking!

    • Joe
      February 19, 2013

      Rocky you too foolish, and one day you will learn to respect people, even if is when somebody discredit you as a professional….U.Mean that you are a professional, i could be wrong!!!!

      I know these great and supreme judges we have in the caribbean well worth their peanuts, as a matter of fact quite a few of them actually sat on Privvy Council matters….

      YOUR DISRESPECTFUL !!!!!!!

      • Anonymous
        February 19, 2013

        What you mean”sat on privy council matters” ? Please explain!

      • faceup
        February 19, 2013

        JOE who gives a hell about DISRESPECTFUL, you well and truely know they are all CORRUPT, wow !! give me a break, chupess!!

      • budman
        February 19, 2013

        Rocky couldn’t be a professional and write like that. and you Joe need to explain how these Caribbean jurists “sat on privy council matters”

  14. Lougaoo Mem
    February 19, 2013

    I only wish that these matters were executed as presribed by the Constitution, so that the nation wouldn’t have to go through these pains and embarassment.

    • just saying
      February 19, 2013

      I,too would like to see the PM and labour party administration stay away from these situations. They do not help anyone.

    • Tri-State Beauty
      February 19, 2013

      Lougawoo why the picture? every time I come on DNO I fall out laughing.

  15. "O" STRESS"
    February 19, 2013

    Ruling, in favour of the Government. Lawyer gets paid. Next case please;SMFH.

  16. Corrupt_Bastards
    February 19, 2013

    Phew! At least it is not cottle, wish it was an Australian judge, however UWP the High Court will never rule against the Govt, when will u fellas accept that. U just wasting your time & money. :-P

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