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Court to begin hearing Williams case against Holness Monday

Thursday, July 17, 2014    

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THE Judicial Review Court will, on Monday, begin to hear the claim of Arthur Williams into the decision of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness to boot him from the Senate using an undated resignation letter.

The date was set yesterday when attorneys for both parties appeared in the Supreme Court. Williams was also in attendance for the hearing which was held in chambers.

Williams was a among a number of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Senators who were ousted by Holness, in November last year, after the bitter leadership race for the party that pitted Audley Shaw against Holness.

Following the ousters, pundits had speculated that Holness was clearing positions of party members who supported Shaw during the leadership race. Christopher Tufton, regarded as a possible candidate to lead the party, was also booted from the Senate.

The resignation letters were signed by senators upon appointment, and relates to the party's position on Jamaica accepting the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal.

After filing his claim last November Williams, who was Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, sought an injunction to prevent his replacement in the Upper House but the Supreme Court refused the application.

Williams will be asking the Judicial Review Court for several declarations, including that "the undated letters of resignation and a letter authorising the defendant to date and use same which had been signed by the claimant were used by the defendant other than for the purpose for which they had been given and therefore were unlawfully used and accordingly are void and of no effect".

Williams is also claiming that the very fact of requesting these undated letters of resignation from all persons to be appointed as Senators under nomination of the Leader of Opposition is contrary to Jamaica's constitutional scheme.

He is also seeking a declaration that by using the undated letters of resignation for the reason that the claimant did not support the defendant in the election for leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party is inconsistent with the Constitution of the JLP and the Constitution of Jamaica.

Williams is being represented by Dr Lloyd Barnett and Wentworth Charles.

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