News Flash: Court of Appeal reinstates injunction in electoral boundaries case

Lawyers representing the opposition filed an appeal against the discharge of the injunction that prohibited the use of the new electoral boundaries passed in the National Assembly on 16th January. The preliminary appeal was heard today by teleconference by the St. Lucia based Court of Appeal.

Shortly after 6 p.m. today, the Court of Appeal issued an order to reinstate the injunction, which means that the country is back on the old electoral boundaries. This is not a final decision, however, as it is effective until the Court of Appeal hears the substantive matters in the case.

Team Unity candidates filed an appeal Thursday against High Court Judge Marlene Carter’s decision given Tuesday to discharge the injunction, which she had granted on 16th January.

The High Court judge said on Tuesday that she was discharging the injunction because her order on the 16th had been made after the proclamation had been gazetted and parliament had been dissolved.

The appeal was against her discharge, and her reasons for the discharge. In addition, an application was filed asking the Court of Appeal to reinstate the injunction pending the hearing of the appeal.

The Court of Appeal immediately set down the hearing of the application for injunction for today at 9:15 a.m.

Senior Counsel Chris Hamel-Smith SC made oral submissions to the Court of Appeal via teleconference. Lawyers made oral submissions also for the Boundaries Commission, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.

At the end of the hearing, the Court of Appeal decided “the justice of the case merits the granting of an interim injunction pending the hearing and determination of the appeal”. The appeal will be heard expeditiously on 9th February 2015 in St. Vincent.

The injunction is extended to the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections from making use of the proposed new boundaries would continue to monitor the situation.

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