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Jun 28, 2019

Court of Appeal Given Option to Hear Applications before 21 Days Requirement

Michael Peyrefitte

Back in April, the Government was unsuccessful in trying to persuade the Court of Appeal to hear an application in an expedited manner. This was in the relation to the April third injunction which was granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin against holding the I.C.J. referendum on April tenth. The Court of Appeal ruled that it was not able to hear the government’s appeal until after the prescribed twenty-one days. This prompted the government to amend the law. The Court of Appeal Amendment Bill 2019 was passed in the Senate on Wednesday and according to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, the Court of Appeal now has the option to hear applications before the twenty-one day period.


Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“It was the feeling of many of the bar and the government that for the future there should be no limitation as to when the Court of Appeal can hear an appeal. That statute, section does not exist in the C.C.J. legislation.  The C.C.J. has no limitation as to when they can hear an appeal. If you file an appeal this morning they can hear it this afternoon. We could not find that limitation in England and many commonwealth countries so we decided that it is in the best interest of justice to amend the legislation to give the Court of Appeal the option to hear it early if they so choose. SO the Court of Appeal in the future could still say we will wait the twenty one days because what you are asking for us to hear early is not urgent or important enough for us to hear early. So it will still be within the discretion of the Court of Appeal to hear the matter early but at least they will have the legislation that give them the power to decide if they want to hear it early.”

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