Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Gov’t seeking expedited appeal hearing in constitutional ruling against DPP

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 5:07 PM
The Constitutional Court had ruled that the amendment giving the DPP the power to elect to remain on the job was null and void and of no legal effect.

A case management conference will be held tomorrow in chambers at the Court of Appeal for a date to be set for an expedited hearing against the Constitutional Court's ruling on the second extension of tenure granted to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn.

It's reported that the date being sought for the appeal to commence is next month.

The court had ruled in April that an amendment to the Constitution in July last year to raise the age of retirement for the DPP and the Auditor General from 60 to 65 was valid.

However, the court ruled that the amendment giving Llewellyn the power to elect to remain on the job was null and void and of no legal effect.

The DPP reached the age of retirement in 2020 but got a three-year extension which ended in September 2023.

She was on a second extension when Opposition Member of Parliament Philip Paulwell and Opposition Senator Peter Bunting challenged the amendment to the Constitution.

The claimants sought a declaration that Llewellyn should not remain in office beyond September last year when her extension ended and they were successful.

Following the ruling, Llewellyn stepped aside to await the outcome of an appeal.

Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Claudette Thompson was appointed to act as DPP.

In the grounds of appeal, lawyers for the Attorney General, who is the appellant, will be arguing that the retirement provisions and maintaining the intended retirements for all affected public officers such as the DPP and the Auditor General are in alignment with section 95 of the Constitution.

The appellant is contending that the Constitutional Court erred in its decision and is seeking to have the decision quashed.

King's Counsel Douglas Leys has been retained by Llewellyn to represent her and he will be applying for permission to argue on her behalf in the Court of Appeal.

- Barbara Gayle

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