Efforts by 14 police officers to bring closure to a nine-year-old disputed promotions case have been stalled.
The officers, who maintain that the then Police Services Commission (PSC) unilaterally removed their names from a promotions list submitted by now retired Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin, want the local Court of Appeal to permit them to take their case to the Trinidad and Tobago-headquartered Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – this country’s final appellate tribunal.
Having so far lost their legal challenges to the PSC’s action at the level of the High Court and local Appeals panel, the officers’ lead attorney Ralph Thorne, Q.C. in association with Harlow Broomes, appeared before the same Court of Appeal today this time on an application for leave to put the case before the CCJ.
However, Acting Solicitor General Donna Brathwaite, who had earlier objected in writing, maintained that position today when asked by the court if she was still opposed to the officers being granted leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s October 2020 decision to uphold the High Court ruling.
As a result, the Court of Appeal adjourned the sitting until April 21 to give Thorne time to make a written submission rebutting the State’s grounds for objecting.
Brathwaite, who appeared in association with Gayl Scott and represents Attorney General Dale Marshall, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and the now Protective Services Commission (PSC), is in part opposing on the grounds that the application for leave does not deal with any matter of great, general or public importance.
The case dates back to 2012, when Dottin submitted the names of the policemen to the PSC to be considered for promotion.
Thorne recalled that the commission unilaterally removed the names and that the affected officers immediately applied to the High Court for an injunction to restrain any promotion and to have the PSC’s action declared unlawful and invalid.
The case was filed in 2012 and on December 23, 2016 Madame Justice Margaret Reifer ruled in favour of the actions of the then Police Services Commission.
The police officers immediately appealed that decision and in October 2020, then Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and his fellow appellate judges upheld Justice Reifer’s judgment.
The law enforcers soon applied to the local Court of Appeal for leave to challenge that decision before the CCJ which led to today’s sitting. ([email protected])