A team, of attorneys led by Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, has mounted a challenge against a charge levelled against a client under the COVID-19 laws.
Davia Graham, of Brewster Road, Worthing, Christ Church, appeared before Magistrate Elwood Watts this morning charged that on February 7 she contravened Paragraph (3) subparagraph (1) of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (CURFEW) (No.3) Directive 2021. It states that there being a directive requiring every person to observe such physical distancing and associated protocols in the interest of public health imposed on the island from February 3 – 17, 2021 she did fail to comply by attending an event know as a lime.
She pleaded not guilty leading Lashley, who appeared in association with Karen Thornhill, Seantelle Parris, Simon Clarke and Sade Harris, to rise to his feet.
The Queen’s Counsel argued that the (No.3) Directive under which Graham is charged, “Does not give a definition of what constitutes a ‘lime’ and does not refer or give a definition of ‘physical distancing protocols’”.
The attorneys submitted that this was “against Section 18 (4) of the Constitution of Barbados”.
Lashley, a former Government minister in the previous administration, further argued that the Minister of Health and Wellness “cannot bring the information as the directive only mentions the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer”.
He added, “The charges should be dismissed for lack of certainty. . . It is submitted that where a statute or a piece of legislation creates an offence and is likely on the liberty of the subject, it must be clear, certain and not ambiguous or vague.
“The directive specifies no definition of ‘lime’ or ‘physical distancing’ hence it creates no offence,” the defence counsel argued.
After hearing the submission Magistrate Watts adjourned the matter for a decision on March 1.
In the meantime, Graham was granted $3 000 bail which she secured with one surety.