State wins Referendum injunction

The way has been made clear by Dominica-born high court judge, Justice Wynante Adrian-Roberts for Thursday’s referendum on constitutional reform in Grenada to proceed in the face of an injunction filed by local attorney-at-law, James “Jimmy” Bristol.

In a ruling handed down just before 3.00 p.m this afternoon, the female judge ruled in favour of the arguments put forward by leading State lawyer, Dwight Horsford, who is the island’s Solicitor General along with Queen’s Counsel, Dr. Francis Alexis.

The judge told the court that the written ruling of her decision will be made available tomorrow.

According to the ruling, the judge said she did not find any material breaches by Supervisor of Elections, Alex Phillip in publishing the bills and writs for the referendum in the two newspapers (Caribupdate and Grenada Advocate) to affect the process.

In addition, she said the balance of justice does not warrant her to grant an injunction to stop a referendum from taking place on the island.

Justice Roberts heard the matter late yesterday evening and told the lawyers to come back at 8.30 a.m Tuesday for judgment.

Attorneys on both sides were present at High Court #3 for the ruling but were told after nearly four hours of waiting to come back at 2.30 p.m. for the verdict.

There were smiles on the faces of the State-assembled team of lawyers as the judge’s ruling paved the way for the Referendum to take place in the next two days.

Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood was heard casting remarks against Bristol to reporters assembled outside the court.

Bristol has been a thorn in the side of Hood in recent months with victory against him in a high profile case in which a St. Lucian company, owed approximately $EC4 million by the State was victorious before the same Justice Roberts.

Bristol was able to get an order from Justice Roberts to target any of the government’s account in the bank to recover the monies owed to his client for services done for the State.

Apart from Dr. Alexis, Horsford and Hood, the other lawyers appearing before the judge on the side of the State were Ruggles Ferguson and Maurisa Johnson, a junior in the Office of the Solicitor-General.

Bristol was assisted in putting forward his case by female attorney-at-law, Claudette Joseph of Amicus Attorneys.

Bristol filed papers before the court to obtain an injunction on the grounds that the Supervisor of Elections had committed 19 breaches in the Referendum Act to facilitate the holding of Thursday’s poll..

The case was filed by the lawyer on behalf of Valerie Thompson-Duncan, a retired Grenadian with Canadian citizenship.

Seven bills are on the Referendum ballot for the election including one to abolish appeals to the British Privy Council and to make the controversial Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the final appellate court in Grenada.

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