A weekly digest of legal news under the following headings:-
Before the Courts
Developments in the profession
Law and Society
Beyond our shores
Law in the News – November 23 – 29 2015
Before the Courts
Former FIFA vice president Austin “Jack” Warner, on Friday filed an appeal challenging an extradition order issued by the United States, saying that it goes against the local extradition laws. Warner expressed concern about his finances and cost of the entire process
In Jamaica, an attorney at law Peter Millingen and a medical doctor Dane Levy have been accused of forging a will of a deceased hotelier. After an investigation of the will including an investigation of several specimen handwritings the police found the signatures on the will was forged and forensic evidence pointed to Levy as the one who forged the signatures of the witnesses.
The Trinidad and Tobago High Court began hearing an application from the Attorney General this week to seize the assets of convicted terrorist Kareem Ibrahim who is Trinidadian national, under the Anti Terrorism Act. This lawsuit is the first of its kind to be heard in Trinidad and Tobago. However the lawsuit suffered a setback when High Court judge Nadia Kangaloo said the State had to provide more evidence to support its application to deem him a terrorist and obtain an order to freeze his assets and financial transactions.
In Trinidad and Tobago, after almost two years, prosecutors in the high profile Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial have closed their case against the 11 men accused of the crime.
Yasin Abu Bakr lost his appeal over two failed lawsuits against the State relating to a murder charge in 2010 for which he was eventually freed. Bakr filed the appeal in July after High Court Judge Frank Seepersad threw out his constitutional motion and malicious prosecution claims which he described as an “abuse of process.”
The Director of Prosecution (DPP) Paula Llewellyn sought to explain her blunder when she ruled in April this year that former Lucea Mayor Shernet Haughton should not be charged in the Hanover Parish Council contracts scandal.
Trinidad and Tobago Works and Infrastructure Minister Fitzgerald Hinds yesterday accused former attorney general Anand Ramlogan of being “thin skinned” with regards to political criticism. He stated when he was in the witness stand at the Port-of-Spain High Court to defend against Ramlogan’s defamation lawsuit related to a political speech he made last year. Ramlogan would later take the stand to defend his lawsuit.
Jamaica CCJ Debate
Senator Robert Montague has suggested a broad-based commission, co-chaired by former prime ministers Edward Seaga and PJ Patterson, to resolve the political stalemate over the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Bills. In making his submissions in the Senate he stated that the commission should also include among others, representatives from academia and the legal fraternity to lay out a public education campaign leading up to a non binding referendum
Parliament will begin debates soon on several significant changes to the Value Added Tax Act that will allow it to tighten collections relating to entertainment events and also impose a 22 per cent VAT on cellular phone services.
The Barbados Government will next year table legislation amending the Proceeds of Crime Act so as to allow the authorities to seize the assets of people with no legitimate source of income.
The House of Representatives began debating amendments to the law to regulate the financing of political campaigns this week. The bill titled the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2015 was tabled in the Lower House on October 28.
Law and Society
Jamaican Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry expressed concern about the manner in which the police conduct stop and search operations and interviews with suspects. She believes that these searches are being done randomly and are illegal and that police have been engaging in the practice of taking police statements from suspects without their attorneys present
Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) American cyber security expert Dr Darren Hayes stated that along with Russian and Chinese hackers, jihadists like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are the major perpetrators of cybercrime in the world today. Further, he stated that Trinidad and Tobago as not exempt from such threats with cybertheft, online fraud, terrorism, network and energy sector breaches being the main areas to focus on.
This article written by Asif Hosein – Shah, a student at Hugh Wooding Law School addresses religious expression and freedom, fundamental rights granted under the Constitution and other legislation and the whether there is a right to wear the hijab, traditional Muslim dress for women, in the workplace .
This article written by Jean – Marc Morris, a student at Hugh Wooding Law School discusses sex crimes against children and the applicable legislation in Trinidad and Tobago