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High Court Denies Injunction

The action that was taken by MPs Sam Condor, former Deputy Prime Minister of the Labour Party and Mr. Shawn Richards of the opposition People’s Action Movement, PAM, was seeking to place a stay on the appointment of the Attorney General, Jason Hamilton, as a senator in the parliament and to also halt any action by the Government to appoint two new additional senators to the Assembly.

The two parliamentarians had contended that the constitution of the country does not allow the Attorney General to have been appointed a senator and that the Speaker was not within his right to amend the Order Paper of the sitting of the Assembly or to have Mr. Hamilton Sworn in as a senator; thereby giving him the right to vote on the highly controversial Increase in Senators Bill, that was eventually passed 8-7.

Not only was the new Bill objected to by the five members on the opposition benches but also two members on the government side; Mr. Sam Condor and Dr. Timothy Harris.

The application for the injunction named the Attorney General, Governor General and Prime Minister as the defendants.

The denial of the application for the injunction means that the Attorney General shall be allowed to function as a senator and the government would be able to proceed with the appointment of two additional senators; one of whom is to be installed as the Deputy Speaker.

However, it was explained by one of the lawyers for the applicants that the reason provided by Justice John Benjamin for his decision not to grant the injunction was related to the fact that all the parties named in the court action had not been served with notices, for what lawyers call, the ex parte hearing.

One of the lawyers for Condor and Richards, Ms. Constance Mitcham, told the media, after the hearing, that though the government is now able to proceed with naming and swearing in its new senators, this action could be reversed if the actual case to be heard next week, (14th February), is determined in favour of Condor and Richards.

Therefore this is not the end of the court matter because the judge has also set Valentine’s Day, 14th February, 2013, as the date on which the actual case, (the constitutional motion), will be heard.




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