BASSETERRE, St. Kitts,CMC – The High Court will on Thursday deliver a ruling in the motion brought by former deputy prime minister Sam Condor and the leader of the main opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM), Shawn Richards, preventing Jason Hamilton from performing his duties as Attorney General in St. Kitts-Nevis.
“I am advised that a date has been set for the decision and that the 28th of February at 10 o’clock (local time)...is D-day,” said attorney Sylvester Anthony, who is representing the attorney general.
“We did in fact filed submissions on behalf of the attorney general as the court had ordered. We did it on time and we are relatively confident about the submissions that we have made,” he said.
Parliament on January 29 approved the Increase in Senators Bill by an 8-7 margin with two former government ministers, Dr. Timothy Harris and Condor opposing the legislation.
Three days later Condor joined Richards in filing the application for an injunction until the substantive matter could be heard.
The claimants argue that the Constitution provides for three senators, and if one of the three is the attorney general then a fourth senator can be added, contending also that that provision allows for the increase if an existing member is appointed attorney general.
But the respondents, including the Speaker of the National Assembly, Curtis Martin, claim that the sequence of events is irrelevant if the end result is that the attorney general is one of four senators.
Lawyers Condor and Richards also argue that the passage of the Increase in Senators Bills by 8-7, should also be deemed unlawful as it would not have been possible without Hamilton’s vote.
Senior Counsel Constance Mitcham, a member of Condor and Richards’ legal team, that she too was equally confident about the arguments put forward during the hearing last week.
“All I could say right now is that i feel good about it. You can’t ever predict how a court would go...but I think our team feel very good about it and we do hope it would lead to success,” she added.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas had welcomed a decision by the High Court not to proceed with an injunction preventing Hamilton from performing his duties , saying “my government will be able to continue the very important work already begun and on which our nation depends.
But Mitcham, said that the application was not heard by Justice John Benjamin at the time because all parties had not been served with notices of the ex parte hearing.