Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Bain officially out of UWI office

Published:Thursday | January 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

Professor Brendan Bain is no longer associated with the University of the West Indies (UWI) as a result of a Supreme Court order which turned down his application yesterday to remain in office until the suit he brought against UWI has been determined.

Hugh Small, QC, who is being instructed by the law firm Myers Fletcher had opposed the application on the grounds that Professor Bain's two-year-contract had ended in December last year. He pointed out that the fund which Professor Bain was in charge of had been terminated by the US donor from September 1, 2014.

After Professor Bain filed the suit against UWI over his dismissal in May last year, he was granted injunctions barring his removal from office. The injunction expired on January 13 and Professor Bain was seeking to have it extended..

Professor Bain, who was being cross-examined yesterday by Small, said before he gave his expert report in the Belizean Court, concerns were raised by at least three persons as to the likely outcome of his evidence. He said church groups in Belize had asked him to give a report in the case in which a man was challenging the buggery law on the grounds that it was in breach of the constitutional rights of consenting men having sex in private.

He admitted that Ian McKnight, the then executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition; Dr John Walters; and noted epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS researcher Dr Peter Figueroa raised concerns in relation to the report he was going to give on the matter. He said he did not take sides in his expert evidence.

Harris Defended Him

Vice Chancellor of the UWI Mona, Professor E. Nigel Harris, defended him, he said, when civil society groups wrote saying they had lost confidence in him as a result of the expert report. He said, further, that Professor Harris dealt with the issue in a conciliatory way. Questioned if Professor Harris had asked him to tell the civil society groups, which had complained about him, that he did not mean to hurt them, he said yes. He said he did not comply because he felt that the persons in the groups knew him and they did not approach him directly. He said he also felt pressured.

Professor Bain is suing the UWI for breach of contract, breach of his constitutional rights and defamation over the university's decision to terminate his contract as director of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Training Network. He was fired in May last year amidst allegations that civil society groups had lost confidence in him.