The Privy Council, Antigua and Barbuda’s final court of appeal has ruled that a matter involving the dismissal of former Executive Secretary of the Board of Education should be heard in the High Court.
The government lost its bid for the matter involving D. Gisele Isaac to be heard in the Industrial Court.
Isaac wants to sue the Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin and Education Minister Michael Browne.
According to reports, the Privy Council today dismissed the appeal on the grounds that Isaac’s fixed date claim was for declarations and damages and not for judicial review for which leave was required.
In 2015, the High Court ruled that Isaac had the right to have her matter involving her dismissal from the Board of Education heard in the High Court and not in the Industrial Court as attorney for the government Sir Gerald Watt had contend.
Dissatisfied with the High Court ruling, government appealed the judgment in 2016. But the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal upheld the High Court ruling, leaving government through its attorney to mount yet another appeal to the Privy Council.
Isaac was suspended from the BoE on July 18 2014, for 28 days. Upon her return, she discovered the locks were changed to her office.
The former executive secretary maintains the Minister of Education did not have the right to instruct her, as he claimed; that Natural Justice was not followed in that she was not allowed a hearing in the investigation that followed her suspension and which was the basis of a report and that the report being leaked on radio damaged her reputation.
Today’s ruling from the London Court now means Isaac can move forward with the matter in the High Court. She is represented by Queen’s Counsel Justin Simon. (Additonal reporting from Pointe FM)