David Bain becomes first Grenadian to obtain leave to commence proceedings in the CCJ Original Jurisdiction.
The way has been cleared for David Bain, a Grenadian national, to commence proceedings against the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for denying him entry into that country on 14 December 2017.
In an historic Case Management hearing this morning (20 November), Bain, who hails from Concord, St John became the first Grenadian to be granted leave to commence proceedings in the Original Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
In another historic twist to the proceedings, held via video conference, Bain’s attorneys at Ciboney Chambers were able to access the Trinidad-based CCJ and participate in the case management hearing from their Conference Room on HA Blaize Street, St George’s. The hearing was originally scheduled for the No 1 High Court but had to be shifted at short notice when that court became unavailable.
On 14 December 2017, Bain was denied entry into the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago after he landed there on a LIAT flight for the purpose of attending a wedding and catching up with friends and relatives whom he had not seen for a while.
On 10 September 2018, Bain, through his attorneys, applied for special leave to commence proceedings against the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago for breach of his right as a Caricom national to freedom of movement as provided for under Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
At the Case Management hearing this morning, the CCJ also denied the request by the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago to extend the time to file a Request to be Heard on the Application for Special Leave. The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago was required to file the Request within 14 days of being served with the Application for Leave, in accordance with the Original Jurisdiction Rules of the CCJ but did not do so.
Under the Case Management Order made this morning, the Attorneys for Bain are required to file their Originating Application, on or before 27 November 2018 to commence proceedings against the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. State Attorneys for the Republic are required to file a defence within 42 days of being served with the Originating Application. Another Case Management Conference is scheduled for 30 January 2019, to finalise preparation for the substantive hearing of the matter.
Apart from seeking a declaration that his right to freedom of movement was breached by the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Bain also seeks damages for the alleged breach.
The Case Management hearing was presided over by a 3-member panel of CCJ Judges comprising President Adrian Saunders, and Justices Jacob Wit and David Hayton. The Ciboney Chambers team, led by Ruggles Ferguson, included Ferron Lowe, Anyika Johnson-Cassone and Sabina Gibbs.
The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago team was led by Rishi Dass, and included State Attorneys Sasha Sukhram and Sean Julien.
In just under 2 weeks, the CCJ has sat twice in Grenada via video conference for the purpose of conducting Case Management proceedings in matters pending before the Original Jurisdiction.
The very first, involving the 4-member Gilbert family from Grenada (Royston Gilbert, Glennor Gilbert, Tamika Gilbert and Lynnel Gilbert) was heard on 8 November 2018, against the State of Barbados. The application for special leave in that matter is set for hearing on 15 January 2019.
In its Original Jurisdiction, the CCJ has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret and apply the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which embraces the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.
Ruggles Ferguson, Ciboney Chambers
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