Former Postmaster General (PMG), Clare Wallace, has secured a major court victory against the government of Dominica.
Wallace, through her lawyer Kondwani Williams, took the government to court challenging her transfer from Postmaster General to Deputy Director of Audit and then to Trade Officer 1. According to court documents, the transfers occurred between September 2016 and January 2018.
Her lawyer claims that the Public Service Commission (PSC) was not competent and had no power to appoint any person to hold or to act in any office or to transfer or remove any person to which section 86 of the Dominica Constitution applies.
Williams also argued that her transfer to the post of Trade Officer 1 was in effect an “unlawful reduction in rank and or demotion which is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect in law because this post is not a post which is equivalent in grade or status to the post of Postmaster General.”
He stated that she is and remains in her substantive post of Postmaster General to which she was last substantively appointed by instrument of His Excellency the President in pursuance of Section 86(2) of the Constitution and in so doing, he acted in accordance with the advice of the PSC dated October 20, 2011.
In her letter to the PSC through her lawyer, Wallace sought to have the Commission withdraw its letter and rescind its decision and demanded that she be returned to her substantive post.
But the attorney general’s office who was also part of the case argued that there was undue delay in bringing the application before the court which amounts to an abuse of the process. The matter was brought to court one year and six months after the transfer.
“This court finds in favour of the claimant and hold and declares that the PSC was not competent and had no power to appoint any person to hold or to act in any office or transfer or remove any such person to which section 86 of the Dominica Constitution applies,” Judge Bernie Stephenson wrote.
“The decision of the PSC to remove and purportedly transfer the claimant from the post of PMG was contrary to sections 85 (3)(a) and 86 (2) of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica and is, therefore, unconstitutional null and void and of no effect in law.”