On 25th March 2021 the Honourable Madame Justice Ann Marie Smith began making an oral ruling in the court case filed by former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wendel Robinson, against the Police Service Commission.
Her Ladyship indicated that her written ruling would be available in about a week and a half.
The parties are yet to receive the written ruling and reasoning of Her Ladyship.
Her Ladyship has declared, among other things, that the removal of Mr. Robinson as Commissioner of Police by the Police Service Commission was unlawful and void.
It is needful that a chronological account be given of the latest court case involving Mr. Robinson:
- 26th October 2018 – the Mr. Robinson obtains a High Court order quashing the Police Service Commission’s decision to suspend Mr. Robinson as Commissioner of Police, Mr. Robinson having been suspended under the Police Act and Regulations. Mr. Robinson is reinstated as Commissioner of Police by the court. The Police Service Commission again suspends Mr. Robinson pursuant to its powers under the Constitution.
- 25th November 2019 – Mr. Robinson is terminated as Commissioner of Police
- 27th June 2020 – Mr. Robinson files a constitutional motion challenging his termination
- 10th November 2020 – Police Service Commission files an application seeking to have the constitutional motion struck out on the ground that section 105 of the Constitution does not vest any rights in a Commissioner of Police. Later that day at a hearing of the matter, counsel for Mr. Robinson makes an oral application for summary trial
- 16th February 2021 – Her Ladyship the Honourable Madame Justice Ann Marie Smith hears (1) argument on the Police Service Commission’s application to strike out the constitutional motion brought by Mr. Robinson and (2) argument that the matter should proceed to summary trial on the ground that no defence had yet been filed by the Police Service Commission
- 25th March 2021 – Her Ladyship the Honourable Madame Justice Ann Marie Smith pronounces that the constitutional motion was to be struck out but that she would proceed nonetheless to issue administrative orders as there has been no defence filed by the Police Service Commission and that it is clear upon a reading of the affidavit and exhibits of Mr. Robinson that he is entitled to administrative orders.
Upon the court making its pronouncement, counsel for the Police Service Commission immediately applied for a stay of the court’s judgment and order and a stay of proceedings pending an appeal, which Her Ladyship the Honourable Madame Justice Ann Marie Smith indicated she was prepared to grant.
Mr. Robinson then indicated that his counsel was not present and that he would wish that his counsel be heard on the Police Service Commission’s application for a stay of the court’s judgment and order and a stay of proceedings.
The court then scheduled the hearing of the application for a stay until 30th March 2021 at 11:00am. The Police Service Commission acknowledges the important and indispensible role of the court in the delivery of justice to persons who are aggrieved at the decisions of public authorities.
However, the Police Service Commission findings the declaration made by Her Ladyship the Honourable Madame Justice Ann Marie Smith concerning and on account of this concern is mounting an appeal against the decision of Her Ladyship.
Her Ladyship has agreed with the contention of the Police Service Commission that the constitutional motion of Mr. Robinson ought to be struck but then proceeded to make administrative orders on the claim.
The Police Service Commission will ask the Court of Appeal to review Her Ladyship’s decision to determine if such a decision was right in law.
Kelvin John Chairman Police Service Commission
Nevis Street St. John’s, Antigua
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