Mon | Dec 9, 2019

SOE court challenge to be heard next year

Published:Wednesday | March 13, 2019 | 12:26 AM

The High Court will, from April 27 to 29 next year, hear the claim by St James-based taxi operator Roshaine Clarke, 26, who is suing the Government for what he says is his illegal detention during the 2018 state of emergency (SOE) imposed on the parish.

The date was set yesterday during a case-management hearing held at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

Presiding judge Justice Sarah Thompson-James has ordered the State to file and serve affidavits on the claimant on or before April 1 and for Clarke to respond, if necessary, by April 29.

She also ordered that all affidavits should be filed and served by May 29. Full disclosure should also be done on or before that date.

A pretrial review has been scheduled for January 28, 2020.

Clarke is seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that the Emergency Powers Regulations 2018 governing the St James SOE breached his rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

He claims that his right to liberty, to be informed at the time of his detention of the reason for his arrest, and to be brought before a court as soon as is reasonably practicable were breached.

Clarke also wants the court to declare that the extensions of the SOE in the parish were not justified for the respective periods ending May 2, 2018, August 2, 2018, November 1, 2018, and January 31, 2019.

He argues that the conditions under which the extensions were obtained are unconstitutional and that the circumstances that may have warranted the SOE when it was declared on January 18, 2018, did not exist after the first extension.

Clarke is being represented by attorneys-at-law Bert Samuels and Michael Hemmings.