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Decision on legality of Parliament sittings pending

March 4th, 2022

The legal teams in the motion challenging the constitutionality of Parliament are now awaiting a decision from Madame Justice Cicely Chase on the matter.

Madame Justice Chase adjourned the virtual sitting after hearing submissions from the team representing Attorney General, Queen’s Counsel, Dale Marshall and a reply from Queen’s Counsel Garth Patterson.

Mr. Patterson is representing former Attorney General, Queen’s Counsel, Adriel Brathwaite, who is trying to get overturned the decision to reconvene Parliament.

At issue is the appointment of only 18 Senators, when the Upper Chamber is made up of 21 seats.

Madame Justice Chase did not give a date when the decision will be delivered.

Before the adjournment, the Court heard from Queen’s Counsel Alrick Scott, who responded to the applicant’s main arguments on behalf of Attorney General Marshall.

He said in its argument, the Brathwaite camp has too narrowly interpreted the Constitution which is to be given a broad, contextual approach.

Mr. Scott further argued there is a section in the Constitution which gives permission for the Senate to do its business, notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, regardless of how it arises.

He also discussed whether the dissolution of Parliament had any impact on the validity of the vacant seats, and the definition of the word ‘members’ in relation to the case.

Another attorney for the Marshall team, Gregory Nicholls discussed the powers of the President, noting the President is not answerable to the Court for his or her actions.

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