Police Federation application denied
The Supreme Court has denied an application by the Jamaica Police Federation to have the injunction barring cops from taking industrial action for the next 28 days set aside.
The decision came after Justice Lennox Campbell heard the application in chambers between 3:45 yesterday afternoon and 9:45 last night.
The police Federation had argued that there are no serious issues to be tried.
However, attorney Carlene Larmond who represented the Attorney General’s office says Justice Lennox Campbell agreed with the Government that there are serious questions to be answered.
She says the court recognised that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are exempt from the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.
And she says Justice Campbell has said there are questions about why the police are exempt while professionals who provide other essential services such as nurses and firefighters are not.
The court says there also needs to be an exploration of whether there are mechanisms to prevent a body of this critical nature from taking industrial action.
The court says it recognises the special role of the police to preserve peace and protect citizens therefore certain restraints are required to achieve this objective.
And according to the court, restraint from industrial action is reasonably justified in a democratic society.
The police had also argued that the Government did not have to go to court to secure an injunction as the police commissioner could have used other means, including taking disciplinary action against cops who are staying away from work.
However, the court says the provisions available to the commissioner are woefully inadequate to deal with the pressing problems in relation to the security of the country.
The Court has granted permission for the Federation to appeal.
Some cops have been on a sick out since Monday night.
The Government was represented by Solictor General Nicole Foster Pusey and director of litigation Carlene Larmond, while the police federation was represented by Chukwuemeka Cameron. and Carolyn Reid-Cameron.