Court strikes down ABLP disciplinary action against Asot Michael as unlawful

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Court strikes down ABLP disciplinary action against Asot Michael as unlawful

PRESS RELEASE

St Johns Antigua, Dec 13, 2022 – The High Court of Antigua and Barbuda has set aside attempts by the Executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party to take disciplinary action against Hon. Asot Michael engineered to bar him from being an ABLP candidate for the St Peter constituency in the upcoming general election.

In a ruling delivered on December 12th, 2022, Justice Jan Drysdale declared that two “purported” disciplinary tribunals engaged to deal with the complaints were illegally appointed and their decisions were therefore null and void:

“It is hereby declared that:

  1. The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (“ABLP”) disciplinary tribunal against the Applicant referred to in the Notice of 29 September 2020 and under the hand of Lionel “Max” Hurst, the 2nd Respondent (the “First Purported Tribunal”) was unlawfully constituted in breach of the provisions of the ABLP Constitution.

  2. The further ABLP disciplinary tribunal referred to in the Notice of 28 October 2020 and under the hand of Mr. Barry Knight (“Second Purported Tribunal”) is unlawfully constituted in breach of the provisions of the ABLP Constitution.

  3. Any decisions made or purported to be made by the Tribunals are null and void.

 

The legal battle to stop the disciplinary proceedings has been in progress for over two years and the Court had granted injunctive relief to Hon. Michael on separate occasions restraining the ABLP effort to prevent him from functioning as the duly elected parliamentary representative of the St. Peter Constituency.

According to the four-term Member of Parliament:

“In recent years, my harmonious relationship with the ABLP has been undermined by the Political Leader/Prime Minister and I have had to take several actions in Court to protect my rights as a member of the ABLP. This includes my right to contest the upcoming election as a candidate of the ABLP and in particular the right to not have another person unlawfully run in my place.

“Despite several Court Orders, the Prime Minister continues to be a law onto himself and seeks to use his Executive Office to achieve his personal political goals”.

The Prime Minister and his colleagues in the ABLP Executive believe that this matter is a political fight involving members and organs of the party and should therefore not be determined in court.

Justice Drysdale disagrees:

“Whilst the parties are all within the political arena, the matter which concerns the court is an allegation of the constitution of the ABLP which in effect is a contract binding on the members of the ABLP, not being properly utilized to discipline and or effect his removal. There is a clear and legitimate cause of action which the Applicant regardless of his political status is entitled to pursue”.

The Judge commented on the credibility of the main witnesses in the examination of the evidence in total that led to her decision:

“I found the Applicant (Asot Michael) to be a more  credible witness than the Second Respondent (Lionel Max Hurst). The Applicant struck me to be frank and forthright. The Applicant was also unwavering in his evidence… The Second Respondent appeared to be evading the truth as it related to the provision of the minutes for the 2015 and 2018 conventions… It therefore waxes strange that (as the only witness for the Respondents) the Second Respondent was not aware what documentation he provided to the Court for consideration. Further I also found the Second Respondent’s testimony that he did not appreciate that the need for those minutes to be baffling… Therefore, I do not accept that the Second Respondent’s assertion of being unaware on whether the minutes were provided to be a reflection of the truth…

“The Second Respondent unfortunately by not being candid with this Court has rendered his testimony to be more suspect than that of the Applicant. I therefore accept the Applicant’s evidence in this regard over the Respondent’s”.

 

Contrary to the opinion of the Respondents on judicial resolution of this issue, the High Court judge believes there is a useful purpose to be served in granting remedies of declaratory relief:

“The parties are bound by the ABLP constitution, a contractual document… If the claim by the Applicant bears fruit, declarations would serve to clarify the issues and also ensure that the power exercised pursuant to the ABLP constitution is done lawfully and fairly. Further the parties being constantly at loggerheads with each other over issues stemming from the disciplinary process, a declaration or the dismissal thereof would bring some finality to these issues and would serve as vindication for the successful party”.

In this matter involving the Constitution of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party and a Disciplinary Tribunal, Ms. Kema Benjamin of Marshall & Co. represented Hon. Asot Michael and Dr. David Dorsett represented Mary Clare Hurst, Lionel Max Hurst and Gaston Browne, key executive members of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.

 

 

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Jumbee_Picknee saw the #Split between Asot and Gaston many, many, many, Lang Lang Lang garling time.
    It was never a #Split between Asot and the People of ABLP, but a #Split between Gaston and Asot, and Gaston being the #Tap_Dawg, all others fell in line behind him, against Asot.

    This is interesting…

    A…does this mean Turners appointment as the ABLP Candidate is “null and void?” Illegal…

    B…if Turner wins St. Peter’s can his victory be challenged, based upon this Ruling?

    C…will the ABLP appeal this High Court decision, so as, to take the case beyond the Election(s)?

    D…is ABLP being buried/covered in their dirt?

    E…Could this lead to the opening of the IHI Cold Ca? Yes, I know, it has no bearing on this case, but #new witnesses can come forward with corroborating evidence/statements/info.
    The case against the former DPP Armstrong is a good example, of #never-to-late! Armstrong has to face the system and prove his innocence, and so too, MUST those WHO’RE still alive should face the Courts and prove their innocence.
    Yes, I know! Fu sure, fe sure, for sure. This is Asot vs The ABLP Executive, but it would be damn nice, if Asot get the “Holy Soirit,” the “Wholly Spirit,” and the “bottled_Spirit” in him, and let loose for his festive season.

    Asot! Just give the Nation the missing pieces to IHI. They’ll tell god you’re a saviour, regardless of your #behaviours!

    Jumbee Picknee aka Ras Smood
    De ‘ole Dutty Peg Foot Bastard
    Vere C. Edwards.

  2. Asot, although I’m glad the court ruled in your favor, it is only because the people of St. Peters deserves to have the representative they voted for serving them in Parliament.
    But, you deserve the karma you got for bad playing Lester Bird with Gaston Browne.

  3. Guess Gaston wants Turner because:
    He has a son with his family member and
    he said Turner is a multimillionaire and Gaston likes to associate with rich people. For him it’s all about money.
    I think he wants to be rid of Asot because Asot is not afraid of him and may even have hopes to challenge him for the leadership of the party.
    I will just sit aside and watch this play out as the two of them are different sides of the same coin.

  4. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor….” Desmond Tutu

    The so called WORLD BOSS is surrounded by dumb puppets who are afraid to voice their opinion…so whatever the WORLD BOSS says goes without question. When you hear comments like ” as long as I am the political leader so and so can’t run on an ABLP ticket” or ” When the Prime Minister speaks that is government policy” that is dictatorship behavior. When you fired an outstanding senator for having an opposing view, for using his brain and standing up for workers, that ain’t right. Very senior members of party who were serving in parliament long before the WORLD BOSS left school just sit with their heads in lap, tongue tied and allow this newly come all powerful elephant to step on the little mice.
    WELL THE COURT STRONGLY DISARGEE…THE MAN HAS RIGHTS.

  5. We should rubbish their campaign slogan of “Next level” because the country is still at the stage when the UPP left office.

    Let the pirates and buccaneers continue to fight like rabid dogs and see who can outshine Santa clause with free give away and treating. Just vote them all out.

  6. Every which way Gassy tries to circumvent the lawful outcome, and the law Lords are reminding this damn fool and eejiot that he cannot bend the rules.

    Asot Michael still the fly🪰 in the ABLP’S ointment🧉 … I LOVE IT !!! 😂😂😂

    WHEY MI POPCORN 🍿 DEY?

    • @ fakeaz

      Athley Rodney on 08/08/2021 to Gaston and Cutie ‘should I proceed with the plan to tear gas the poor black hungry Antiguans and Barbudans?’

      Gaston and Cutie’s response to Rodney ‘Yes, teargas DEM R_ SS, make certain that you hurt them real badly, let them know that a we run things ya’

      Dem wicked evil and HEARTLESS Vagabonds.
      Their time is up. NEVER AGAIN MUST THEY RUN THIS COUNTRY.

  7. “I found the Applicant (Asot Michael) to be a more credible witness than the Second Respondent (Lionel Max Hurst)”

    The words of the Judge…in other words, Max you too damn lie!!! You and Gaston cut from de same lying cloth!!

  8. Get rid a dem! Get rid a dem! Come Election Day,we the people are going to kick their arses out of Office by voting them out.

  9. Next the longer Gaston take to call the election, the more time he gives Assot to proceed in the court. Next Assot is going to challenge Turner as the APLP candidate and have his name removed as the St. Peter’s APLP candidate.

Comments are closed.