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Judgement on Section 34 repeal due on Wednesday

justice1Judgement in the controversial appeal of two businessmen and an insurance company challenging the repeal of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Offences) Act is due on Wednesday.

Three Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca, Peter Jamadar and Gregory Smith reserved their judgment in appeal in October last year, after hearing lengthy submissions from a battery of lawyers inclusive of four prominent British Queen’s Counsel.

Businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ameer Edoo and the Insurance Company Maritime General are contesting the judgment of High Court Judge Mira Dean-Armorer who, in April last year, dismissed all eight grounds raised by them in their bid to challenge the constitutionality of the repeal.

They are claiming that the sudden repeal of the legislation almost two years ago, breached the constitutional principle of the separation of powers and their right to due process of law.

They have also claimed that the repeal was unfair and was “disproportionate and unjust” because of its retrospective effect.

In response, the State has alleged that the repeal was within Parliament’s discretion and as such the court does not have the jurisdiction to reverse it.

In the constitutional motion there is also issue taken with the intervention of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, who wrote to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan advising the repeal, after he had received several applications under the legislation seeking an amnesty of the criminal charges.