Thu | Aug 17, 2017

UPDATED: Privy Council refuses appeal of dismissed Bethlehem College principal

Published:Wednesday | November 16, 2016 | 11:21 AM

The dismissed principal of the Bethlehem Moravian College Dr Paul Thompson has lost his bid to be reinstated at the St Elizabeth-based facility.

Dr Thompson was seeking to take the matter to the Privy Council to challenge a ruling by the Court of Appeal denying his appeal to get back his job.

However, the Privy Council has turned down the application saying the issue on which Dr Thompson wanted to appeal was not of sufficient public importance.

The legal wrangling began in 2008 when Thompson was dismissed by the Board of the Bethlehem Moravian College for alleged inappropriate behaviour.

He took the matter went to the Teachers' Appeal Tribunal, which upheld the Board’s decision.

Thompson then went to the Supreme Court and Justice Courtney Daye agreed with his submissions that the disciplinary proceedings were unfair because the personnel committee of the college wrongfully rejected evidence of probative value.

READ:  Bethlehem loses another round in principal dismissal case

"To allow the tribunal (personnel committee) to be exposed to material which is more prejudicial than probative, and then disallow a statement which is more probative than prejudicial, breached the requirement of fairness," Daye stated in the ruling.

The Board appealed the decision of the Supreme Court but at the same time began the process to appoint a principal in early 2009.

When the matter was finally heard in the Court of Appeal, the principal was already appointed.

The Appeal Court acknowledged the Supreme Court ruling that Thompson was deprived of the opportunity of putting evidence to the College's personnel committee on the vital issue of credibility.

The Court of Appeal also held that had a principal not been appointed, Thompson would be reinstated.

READ: Court rules in favour of Board of Bethlehem Moravian College

Thompson, however, sought leave to take the matter to the Privy Council to pursue his reinstatement.

But that application has now been refused on the basis that it does not raise a point of law.

*NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect in more detail, the chronology of the case.