Davies' setback - Court dismisses minister's application

Published: Saturday | February 2, 2013 Comments 0

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

JUSTICE LENNOX Campbell yesterday turned down Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies' application for leave to go to the Judicial Review Court.

And a livid Attorney General Patrick Atkinson yesterday blasted the court system for failing to inform his office that Justice Campbell was going to hand down his ruling.

Dr Davies was seeking leave to challenge a decision of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG). He wanted a determination as to whether the OCG had the authority to requisition the three-member independent oversight panel monitoring three major infrastructure government projects.

Davies has the legal right to appeal to the Court of Appeal against Campbell's ruling.

Monitoring government projects

The transport minister had taken the OCG to the Supreme Court over its insistence on monitoring the three major government projects.

The projects are the north-south link of Highway 2000, which spans Spanish Town to Ocho Rios; the Gordon Cay Container Trans-shipment hub, and the Fort Augusta Container Terminal.

The attorney general who had appeared in the matter had disagreed with the OCG's insistence that the oversight panel should provide formal reports on its deliberations regarding the projects.

According to the OCG, the Government was attempting to circumvent its office.

The OCG which was represented by Jacqueline Samuels Brown, QC, maintained that it acted lawfully and said the administration's move was an abuse of the judicial process.

When Atkinson was asked yesterday to comment on the ruling, he said he knew nothing about it.

He said neither he nor his office was informed that the ruling was going to be handed down.

"It's a total disrespect for the Office of the Attorney General that no notification was given to this office," Atkinson said.

He said he only learned that the ruling had been made after members of the press informed him.

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