Brantley’s filing outlined a number of matters that he, along with his CCM colleague Vance Amory, PAM’s Shawn Richards and Eugene Hamilton, felt were being mismanaged by the Denzil Douglas led Administration.
However, some hope was being shared amongst opposition supporters in St. Kitts and Nevis when last week it was announced that the date for the court hearing on a related matter had been set for Wednesday, 26th November, 2014. However that never materialized and instead the judge expected to hear the case has now scheduled the matter for early next year.
Justice Marlene Carter on Wednesday 26th November told lawyers from both sides of the matter that she has set 19th and 20th January, 2015, as the dates to hear the case.
Justice Carter granted leave for the Attorney General to intervene in the matter and as such this has only further delayed the hearing which is highly anticipated given that new elections are being planned for early 2015.
As a consequence of the leave that was granted, the Claimants have also been allowed to file written submissions by 11th December, ironically, the second anniversary date of the filing of Brantley’s motion.
One day after, on 12th December, lawyers are required to submit all applications for specific disclosures and or cross examinations.
A release from the Government on Thursday afternoon has added a new twist to the affair, quoting media sources as saying the lawyers for the government side are hoping to call former Government Minister, now opposition critic of the administration, Dr. Timothy Harris and former PAM Administration Deputy leader, Michael Powell, as witnesses to be crossed examined.
No indication was given to explain why this was necessary.
Additionally and if necessary, the lawyers and judge will also be involved in a provisional case management conference which has been set for 19th December, 2014.
Then early next year, not later than 5th January, just after the last carnival weekend, submissions would be expected in response by the Speaker and the Attorney General.
Ten days after that, submissions in reply by the Claimants are to be submitted on or before 15th January, 2015.
Then the case will be heard four days after on 19th January.
These are the conditions and procedural matters that it seems the various parties have agreed to, in preparation for this major case that not only has implications locally, but throughout the entire Commonwealth of nations.
The heart of the matter is that after the Speaker had refused, for almost six months, to hear the motion that was filed in December, 2012, the opposition moved to the Court, complaining that their fundamental rights to have the motion heard and debated were being infringed. However Speaker Martin contended that the Court had no jurisdiction in the matter and since the opposition had taken it through the legal channels he was not going to convene a session to address the matter.
In response the opposition then tried to withdraw and discontinue the case, which was allowed by a judge, but strangely the Speaker himself took action to keep the matter in Court, arguing that since it was already there, then he wanted a final legal determination to establish precedence.
Leader of the main opposition party, Shawn Richards eventually filed a second motion to the original one submitted by Opposition Leader Brantley. That too was ignored by the Speaker on the same grounds as the first.
This brings us to the present, where finally the High Court is now set to hear the original motion case on 19th January.
And as irony would have it, the case is being heard on the 50th Anniversary date of the formation of the opposition People’s Action Movement…(19th January).