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More trials for Bain!

Published:Sunday | September 28, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Professor Brendan Bain

Court hears that UWI to wrap up CHART by year end

The University of the West Indies (UWI) was last Friday successful in having an injunction barring it from removing Professor Brendan Bain Caribbean HIV/AIDS Training (CHART) Network changed.

Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Lloyd Hibbert ruled that the injunction should not remain in effect until the matter has been heard and determined.

Instead, Hibbert ruled that the injunction should end on January 13, 2015, the same day the hearing will begin. The judge also ruled that Bain's three claims should be heard together.

Bain is suing the UWI for breach of contract, breach of constitutional rights and defamation. However, the university wanted the defamation matter to be tried separately.

Hibbert said the injunction was varied subject to the right of the parties to make applications for further orders.

discontinue funding

Lawyers representing the UWI had made an application in court on the basis that the funds for the CHART Network will cease at the end of this year and, as such, the programme will be wound up.

The lawyers further disclosed that other employees have been given notice about the impending closure following the decision by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to discontinue funding for CHART and other funded health-training partnerships.

Following further submissions Hibbert granted permission for the university to call two expert witnesses, Professor Rosemarie Antoine and Derrick Springer.

Antoine is a legal scholar, human-rights advocate, HIV researcher and vice-chair of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Springer is the executive director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS.

Bain's contract as director of CHART was terminated by the university in May on the basis that "his constituents had lost confidence in him".

That move followed a decision by the professor to provide an expert report on homosexuality and HIV in a court matter brought by a gay man in Belize.

Bain challenged the decision on the basis that the action of the UWI breached his constitutional rights of freedom of expression and thought.

He is also contending that the UWI breached due process as he was not given a hearing before a fair or impartial tribunal before being fired.