Date Set For Court Hearing Filed Against Commission of Inquiry

Thomas Sharpe, QC and Morrice Tyrell

Thomas Sharpe, QC and Morrice Tyrell (R)
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Charlestown, Nevis
August 31, 2009

The Commission of Inquiry Secretariat announced on Monday that Monday September 07, 2009 had been set aside by the High Court on Nevis, to hear substantive matters relevant to a case filed by Former Premier of Nevis Mr. Vance Amory, against the Commission of Inquiry.

In a press statement, Secretary to the Commission also said that the matter would be held in open court.

The announcement followed a July 23 press release from Commission’s Secretary Mr. Morrice Tyrell at the end of a court hearing into an application by Mr. Amory, for an interim injunction which challenged the legality of the Commission.

It stated in part that on the evening of July 20, Commissioner Sharpe and the Nevis Island Administration had been served with legal papers issued on behalf of [former] Premier Amory.

“He was seeking a number of declarations seeking to declare the Commissioner’s appointment invalid and an injunction preventing the Commission from proceeding further. The Commission nevertheless proceeded with its planned hearings.

“On Wednesday morning [former] Premier Amory applied for an ex parte injunction to stop the work of the Commission: this application was made without notice or with any opportunity to respond. The Learned Judge refused the application and required Premier Amory to serve papers and evidence on the Commissioner and the Administration. These papers were served on Wednesday morning requiring attendance at the Court at 2pm that day. Once again, the Commission proceeded with its work and examined witnesses on Wednesday morning.

“A brief hearing was held at 2pm on Wednesday and the matter was adjourned till noon on Thursday 23 July. In the meantime, the Commissioner and the Administration filed affidavits in reply and a written argument, supported by numerous authorities, resisting the application.

“At the hearing at noon today Premier Amory’s counsel indicated that they had sought advice and now proposed to add a ‘constitutional claim’ which would require the Attorney General to be joined in the action. He also indicated that as it had become clear that no public hearings would take place until late September, at the earliest, the perceived urgency had disappeared.

“With the full approval of the Learned Judge, the case will go forward for a speedy trial sometime in August, and a timetabling hearing will take place next Friday to set out what needed to be done and by whom, and to set a trial date. In the interim, the Premier Amory’s revised case would be served on the Defendants and Attorney General.”

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