The local High Court has rejected a request from a former public servant to reverse Government’s debt restructuring programme.
In his judgment this morning, Mr Justice Cecil McCarthy ruled that the matter brought by retired school teacher Alvin Foster was not a proper case for judicial review.
The judge also removed all four respondents who were sued by Foster from being linked to the legal action and awarded costs to them to be assessed, if not agreed.
Foster had sued the Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Government, claiming they unilaterally and unlawfully changed the terms of his $250,000 Treasury Note investment contract to his detriment to give effect to the Debt Holder (Approval of Debt Restructuring) Act 2018.
He had also included in the suit for a judicial review, the Accountant General Dane Coppin as the first respondent, the Central Bank of Barbados as the second and the Attorney General Dale Marshall, the fourth.
Commenting afterwards on the outcome, attorney at law for the Central Bank Elson Gaskin said the ruling was no surprise to him.
“It was expected because I could see that’s the way it would go. I thought that the judge made the right decision. It really was not a matter for judicial review. The court can’t review Parliament because they are co-equal branches of Government. You would have to say that legislation that Parliament has passed, offends the Constitution in some way,” Gaskin told Barbados TODAY.
“The Central Bank whom I represent had applied to be removed from the action as a party because we didn’t have any fault to bear in the Government’s restructuring. It was done by way as an Act of Parliament. And usually how you challenge Acts of Parliament is by Constitutional motions and not by judicial review,” Gaskin added.
Roger Forde, QC, who represented the Minister of Finance, the Accountant General and the Attorney General had also applied to have his clients struck out from the legal action as well. This was granted by the court.
Forde had argued that the application by the claimant was ill-conceived, but the attorney for the retired public officer, Guyson Mayers insisted that there were sufficient grounds on which the case should be heard. [email protected]