Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Duke writes to Governor General

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2016 | 1:02 PM

Law student Duke St John-Paul Foote has written to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen seeking his intervention in his legal battle with the University of Technology (UTech) and the hefty legal fees he is being ordered to pay.

Foote came to national attention in November 2014 when he sued UTech over its decision to de-register him because he did not pay 80 per cent of the tuition fee at the specified time.

 

Damion Mitchell picks up the story

Foote who was a first year law student at the time, represented himself in the suit and obtained a seven-day injunction barring UTech from de-registering him for the December 2014 examinations.

He had produced documents at the ex parte application to show that he had paid the full fees a day before the October 31, 2014 deadline, but was still de-listed on November 1, 2014 as a student in arrears.

The university complied with the injunction and allowed him to register for the December 2014 examinations, and Foote discontinued the action.

However, days later, he was informed by the university that he could not sit the examinations because the injunction was no longer in effect.

He was not allowed to sit the examinations.

Foote took the matter back to the Supreme Court and in January 2015, lawyers representing UTech opposed the application on the grounds that it was only the Governor General as the visitor of the university who had the legal authority to deal with the issue.

Justice Audrey Lindo, in dismissing Foote's claim, said the court was reluctant to intervene in such cases where the issues concerned the domestic affairs of a corporation which is governed by internal rules and statutes.  

Foote appealed the ruling but was not successful in the the Court of Appeal.

One of  Foote's concerns is the hefty legal costs of $855,013 which UTech has obtained against him.

He has beseeched the Governor General to deal with the matter quickly as UTech has already served an order on him and he now runs the risk of incurring draconian consequences for disobedience of the court order to pay.