High Court Rejects PAM’s Chesley Hamilton

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Hamilton Rejected As expert on Constitutional Law of Trinidad and Tobago

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 18, 2009 (CUOPM)

Former Chairman of the opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM), Mr. Chesley Hamilton was rejected as witness without a questioned being asked by either side when the Boundaries Commission Case continued at the Lee Llewellyn Judicial and Legal Services Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Hamilton, an attorney was the second witness for the PAM’s lone Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 5, Hon. Shawn Richards and the party’s Political Leader, Mr. Lindsay Grant, in the civil suit brought against the Attorney General, the Governor General, the Electoral Commission, the Constituency Boundaries Commission and the Supervisor of Elections, for a judicial review.

After Mr. Hamilton took the oath, Senior Counsel, Mr. Anthony Astaphan, representing the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, in an effort to save the Court’s time, brought to the attention of His Lordship Mr. Justice Errol Thomas, the affidavit sworn of August 14th 2009, in which Mr. Hamilton purported to give expert evidence on the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Astaphan said that Mr. Hamilton was not even an expert on Constitutional Law in St. Kitts and Nevis and objected to him presenting himself as an expert on the laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“I am not sure whether he is an expert. He was never called to the Bar in Trinidad and Tobago and all he had done during his six months there obtaining the Legal Education Certificate, was sit for a few days in the law offices of the Chambers of Mr. Karl Hudson-Philip, Q.C,” said Mr. Astaphan, submitting also that he was not aware that the High Court had issued an Order deeming Mr.  Hamilton, an expert on the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago.

Lead Counsel for Messrs Richards and Grant, the Hon. Mia Mottley agreed with the submission of Mr. Astaphan and withdrew Mr. Hamilton as a witness and the affidavit, without one question being posed to Mr. Hamilton.

In his affidavit, Mr. Hamilton, the National spokesperson for the people’s Action Movement, said that he attended the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago where he obtained the Legal Education Certificate “and became familiar with the laws of Trinidad and Tobago especially during my period spent as Master Pupil in the Chambers of Mr. Karl Hudson-Phillip Q.C” and that he has made a “search of the Laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and of the Hansard of debates in the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’ and had made certain observations.

Respondents are represented by Senior Counsel, Mr. Anthony Astaphan; Attorney Dr. Henry Browne, Mr. Sylvester Anthony, Dr. the Hon. Kenny Anthony, Mr. Hal McL. Gollop and Mr. Gossai.

Appearances for the Claimants are Ms. Mia Mottley, QC; Ms. Constance Mitcham; Mrs. Greta Foreman and Mr. Delara MacClure Taylor.

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