Friday , 23 February 2018
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Justin L. Simon, QC

Antiguan Cases taken to the Privy Council between 2004 and 2014

Record of cases taken to the Privy Council (from Antigua and Barbuda) between 2004 and 2014, prepared by former Attorney General Justin Simon QC

There were seven Privy Council appeals during the UPP’s two terms in office:

  1. Hilroy Humphreys – whose challenge of Government’s introduction of committal hearings to replace preliminary investigations was dismissed; the new procedure allows for a quicker paper indictment instead of the lengthy and costly preliminary trial with evidence given on oath and cross-examination before a Magistrate.
  2. HMB Ltd. – whose challenge of the compulsory acquisition by the ALP government of the company’s lands was dismissed on the ground that the acquisition was indeed for a public purpose and was justified given the company’s repeated failure (notwithstanding the grant of generous concessions), to develop the property following its destruction by hurricane.
  3. FBO (2000) Ltd. – in which Government’s challenge of the finding by the Court of Appeal that compensation and costs were to be paid to the company by the Government for ALP’s deliberate sale to Stanford of airport lands previously agreed to be leased to FBO (2000) Ltd, was successful; and the sale to Stanford was held to be subject to the 25-year lease as an encumbrance.
  4. Everton Welch – in which the High Court’s sentence to imprisonment “at the pleasure of the Queen” for a murder committed by EW when under the age of 18 years was held to be unconstitutional, and the matter remitted to the High Court to determine whether the time spent in prison was excessive and deserved compensatory damages. The Offences against the Person Act passed during the colonial era was, as a result, amended in Parliament to read: “at the pleasure of the Court”.
  5. Antigua Power Company Ltd. – whose challenge of Government’s action in stopping by force of arms the delivery of its electricity generators to the APUA sub-station at Crabbs and breach of contract for the supply of additional generator power, was upheld. We were unsuccessful defending the Court of Appeal’s decision.
  6. HMB Ltd. – in which Government’s challenge of the increased amount of compensation ordered by the Appeal Court to be paid for the acquisition of the company’s lands and the high rate of interest applied, was successful.
  7. Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin – in which Government’s challenge of the DPP’s alleged constitutional right to order the police not to file and prosecute summary criminal charges in the Magistrate’s Court, was successful. The DPP can only advise the police in these situations.Cases # 1, 2, 3, and 4, were personally handled by me (Mr Simon) Attorney General representing the Government.