Pharmacy Council threatened with contempt of court proceedings
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
The Pharmacy Council of Jamaica is being threatened with contempt of court proceedings for its alleged refusal to register two University of Technology (UTech) students as pharmacists.
In a letter dated November 7, 2014, attorney-at-law Nigel Jones, who is representing the students, warned the Council of the likely consequences if it fails to register the students as ordered by the Registration of Appeals Tribunal.
The letter stated that failure to comply with the order will result in immediate action in the form of a claim for compensation and contempt of court proceedings.
The council has been granted leave to go to the Judicial Review Court to apply for an order to quash a decision of the Tribunal.
In early October, the Supreme Court granted the council a stay of the Tribunal's order.
However, when the parties reappeared on October 30, the court denied the application to extend the stay.
Jones then wrote to the council demanding that it honours the tribunal's ruling.
In the letter, Jones stated that for each day that there was a failure to implement the decision of the tribunal, there was a further breach of the very regulations that it was appointed to uphold.
Attorneys-at-law Philmore Scott and Camille Scott are representing the Council which is contending that the two students were required to sit internship examinations, which they failed.
A resit was arranged by the Council and the students again failed to pass the exam.
The students then appealed to the tribunal.
On July 8, the tribunal ruled that the students were competent and ordered the council to register them as pharmacists.
However, the Pharmacy Council disagreed with the decision of the Tribunal and obtained an injunction barring the execution of the ruling.
The injunction remained in effect until October 30 when there was no further stay.
The Pharmacy Council is contending that the tribunal was not properly constituted when it made its decision.
It is further contending that the council is the body invested with the statutory powers to regulate the training of pharmacists and it is the council which must decide if a student is competent to be registered as a pharmacist.
However, Jones maintains that since there is no injunction in effect, the Pharmacy Council has no choice but to abide by the order of the Tribunal and register the students.
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