Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
A five-member panel of the Court of Appeal was yesterday dressed in their new robes to commemorate Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence as they began hearing a constitutional issue raised by former Scotiabank boss William 'Bill' Clarke.
The court is being asked to determine whether the power given to a single judge to consider procedural appeal was outside the scope of the Constitution.
The court is further being asked to determine whether Rules Committee, in giving the single judge that power to consider procedural appeals, was acting outside the powers of the Constitution.
Clarke took the issue to the Supreme Court following a dispute he has with the bank over money he had paid into an account in relation to a BMW motor car transaction before he went on early retirement in 2008.
A Supreme Court judge had ruled that the money which Clarke had paid into the account in relation to the BMW motor car had been settled during the arbitration.
A dispute arose as to Clarke's entitlement after he retired and after a lengthy legal battle in court, the matter went to arbitration and was settled in 2011.
Attorney-at-law Georgia Gibson Henlin is representing Clarke, while Queen's Counsel Michael Hylton is representing the bank.
Further submissions will be made today when the hearing resumes. The issue is of such great legal importance that five judges have decided to hear it.
Court of Appeal judges ended the colonial tradition of wearing wigs in December 2011. Yesterday, they began wearing the new black robes which are trimmed with green and gold at the front, depicting the national colours.