Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Nicole Hayles seeking redress from Constitutional Court

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2020 | 9:22 AM

Well-known journalist Nicole Hayles, who is the marketing and public relations manager at the National Land Agency (NLA), has filed a claim in the Supreme Court seeking several declarations for alleged breaches by members of a disciplinary committee of the state agency.

The NLA initiated disciplinary proceedings against Hayles earlier this month to determine if there was any conflict of interest in relation to a television programme she hosted in July.

She is being accused of breaching the agency’s ethics policy for involvement in other business/employment and political involvement.

Hayles contends in court documents that when she received the invitation from the television station to moderate and host the programme, she submitted the document to the agency and approval was given.

She says she subsequently received a letter stating that a disciplinary meeting was to be held after she hosted the programme.

She is contending that the programme involved discussions with public figures and private citizens on factual information and that she was unbiased and impartial as the moderator.

She is now seeking leave to go to the Constitutional Court to challenge the disciplinary hearing.

Hayles, who is being represented by attorney Hugh Wildman, is contending that the convening of the disciplinary hearing constituted a breach of her constitutional right to freedom of expression and the right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions and ideas through any media.

She is seeking a court order to stop the continuation of the disciplinary hearing.

The Attorney General is one of the defendants in the matter.

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