Dominican attorney continues crusade against CCJ in Tommy Lee case

Friday, April 07, 2017

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — An attorney who lost a lawsuit against the Dominica government before the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has taken his case to the Regional and Judicial Legal Services Commission (RJLSC).
In an April 6 letter to the Commission, Cabral Douglas, is calling for an investigation and overturn of the February 2017 decision of the CCJ.
Douglas has been critical of the CCJ, which was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court, after it dismissed an application he filed accusing the Dominica government of causing a breach of contract with the Jamaican entertainer Tommy Lee Sparta.
Douglas alleged that the action of the Roosevelt Skerrit government also caused multiple violations of his rights under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC). But the CCJ ruled that Douglas had failed to prove a breach of treaty rights which were intended to benefit him directly.
Tommy Lee, 26, whose real name is Leroy Russell, was scheduled to perform in Dominica at a concert in February 2014, when on his arrival with three members of his team — Tiasha Oralie Russell, Junior Fraser and Mario Christopher Wallace — they were all denied entry, detained and deported the following day.
The Dominica government said its action was based in the interest of public safety as several organisations, including the Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches, had denounced the artiste’s appearance saying his music glorifies Satan and promotes lawlessness and violence.
Douglas, the promoter of the Dominica show, said the stance taken by the government was illegal and he was demanding more than US$3 million in compensation.
In his letter of complaint to the Commission, Douglas cited seven irregularities including that the Dominica government was permitted to be heard despite filing its request to be heard out of time, and not applying for and obtaining relief from sanctions as required by rule 19.4(1).
Douglas said that the fact that the court did its own research and featured it in its decision without allowing him to comment on it as well as the fact that the application was not decided based on the actual submissions made by the defendant.
He wrote that the court failed to rely on any of the submissions made on behalf of the defendant by Attorney General Levi Peter, instead choosing to rely on its research; and that the Court failed to properly deal with his submissions but relied on its research without references or scrutiny by him were among the other irregularities.

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