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Former Court Management Services head granted leave to challenge forced retirement

Published:Monday | July 18, 2016 | 10:45 AM

The former head of the now defunct Court Management Services (CMS) has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to go to the Judicial Review Court to challenge her retirement from the public service.

Deborah Patrick Gardner told the court that in May she was informed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) that she was being retired from the public service effective June 1.

Patrick Gardner was serving as the principal executive officer of CMS, which was responsible for the administrative running of the courts at the time.

Following an amendment to the Judicature (Supreme Court) Act last year, it was announced in February that a Court Administration Division would replace the CMS.

Patrick Gardner, who was responsible for setting up the CMS, was informed in a letter from the acting chief personnel officer, Jacqueline Mendez, that she was being retired on the grounds of reorganisation in accordance with the Pensions Act.

She told the court that she was informed about her retirement after returning to work from a three-year study leave in 2013.

In granting leave, Supreme Court judge Bryan Sykes stated that the case has important implications for public sector employment.

Justice Sykes noted that it raises the question of whether the PSC can seek to have public sector workers compulsorily retired because an Act of Parliament has been passed.

Patrick Gardner is being represented by attorney at law Hugh Wildman.

Mendez and the PSC are the respondents in the case.