Re Glinton Maurice Q.C.

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtCourt of Appeal (Bahamas)
JudgeAllen, P.
Judgment Date22 October 2015
Neutral CitationBS 2015 CA 133
Date22 October 2015
Docket Number1 and 2 of 2015

Court of Appeal

Allen, P.; Conteh, J.A.; Adderley, J.A.

1 and 2 of 2015

Glinton Maurice Q.C., Re:
Appearances:

Legal Profession - Attorney-at-Law — Contempt of court — Bias — Whether the facts and circumstances surrounding the issuance and execution of the warrant of arrest is such that a fair minded observer might consider that there is a danger of bias where the sitting panel had previously ordered the bench warrant of the attorney-at-Law — Consideration of R v. Santiago (Steven Anthony) [2005] 2 Cr. App. R 24 and Wilkinson v. S [2003] E.W.C.A. Civ. 95 — Appearance of bias in contempt proceedings — Application of test from Wilkinson considered in Stephen Stubbs et al v. R SCCrApp No. 203 of 2015 and Resolution Chemicals Ltd. v. H. Lundbeck A/S [2013] E.W.C.A. Civ. 1515 — Judge in its own cause — Consideration of Caves Co. v. Higgs Estates [1988] BHS J. No 122 and R v. Davison (1821) 4 B & Ald 329 — Constitution of Court — Whether a justice was constitutionally prohibited from hearing the case as it was a matter before the Court and the justice had attained the age of 70 having considered Article 102 of the Constitution however the proceedings were commenced before he had attained the age and his extension in the position was based on the purposes of Article 102 (2) — Definition of proceedings under Article 102 (2) of the Constitution — Consideration of Whitfield v. The Attorney General BS 1989. SC 20 and Peter Sokoo and another v. the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago [1985] 1 A.C. 63 — Procedure — Whether the proper procedure in the case on contempt was followed where no citations was given before the alleged contemnor demitted the precincts of the Court where the Court had the inherent jurisdiction to punish upon its own motion any contempt committed in the face of the Court — Consideration of R v. Moran 81 Cr. App. R. 51 — Contempt — Whether the behaviour of the attorney at law was contemptuous where he ignored the Court's request to give appearances; turning his back and gathering papers while the President was speaking to him; walking out while the justice of appeal was speaking — Consideration of Re West [2014] E.W.C.A. Crim. 1480 and Re Nash ex p Tuckerman [1970] 3 N.S.W.R. 23 — Rude and insulting behaviour to a judge in Court by anyone may be contempt — Finding that there was no danger of bias — Finding that the justice was permitted to hear the matter and finding that the bench was properly constituted — Finding that the attorney-at-Law's conduct was inimical to his duties as an officer of the Court and to his role in the proper administration of justice.

Mr. Wayne Munroe, Q.C., with Mr. Alfred Sears Q.C., Mr. Charles Mackay, Mr. Raynard Rigby, Mr. Paul Moss and Mr. Jerone Roberts for Mr. M. Glinton Q.C..

Mr. Gavin Gaskin, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions with Mr. Franklyn Williams, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions as amici curiae.

Held:— Count 1 — M.Glinton Q.C., guilty of contempt, fine of $15,000.00 to be paid within 14 days or 14 days at the Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill. Count 2 — M. Glinton Q.C., guilty of contempt, 4 days' imprisonment, time already served. Contempt discharged.

Allen, P.
1

The alleged contempts canvassed by these proceedings arose during the course of three appeals from a decision of the Supreme Court, in which the habeas corpus applications of the appellants in SCCrApps.265, 266 and 267 of 2014 were denied.

2

The first allegation of Contempt arose from Mr. Glinton Q.C's., (“Mr. Glinton”) behaviour before the Court on 28 September 2015, as a result of which, a Summons was issued on 2 October 2015 ordering him to appear before the Court at 10 am on 9 October 2015 to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for his behaviour.

3

That Summons was personally served on him on 5 October 2015 as evidenced by the Affidavit of Service of Ann Marie Neely, an Assistant Superintendent in the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

4

The second allegation of Contempt arose from Mr. Glinton's failure to appear in obedience to the 2 October 2015 Summons issued by the Court. The particulars of that allegation are that at 10.10 am on 9 October 2015, when the matter was called, there was no appearance for or on behalf of Mr. Glinton. A Warrant of Arrest was issued by the Court to compel his appearance at the next sitting of the Court; and on his appearance on 13 October 2015 oral notice of his alleged contempt for disobedience on 9 October was given. Subsequently, the Summons of the alleged disobedience to the 2 October 2015 Summons was issued on 15 October 2015, and served on Mr. Glinton through his counsel on 16 October 2015.

5

Considering the nature and gravity of the acts alleged against Mr. Glinton in Court on 28 September 2015, it is prudent to specifically set out in detail the particulars of contempt alleged in the Summons of 2 October 2015:

“YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED by the Court of Appeal ( Allen, P., Conteh, Adderley, JJ.A.) to appear before the Court on Friday, 9th October, 2015 at 10:00a.m. to show cause why you should not be committed for contempt for your behaviour in Court on Monday, 28th September 2015 while appearing in SCCrApp 265/2014, SCCrApp 266/2014 and SCCrApp 267/2014.

THE CHARGES/PARTICULARS OF CONTEMPT ARE:

  • (1) That before entering an appearance on behalf of your clients and after you had made an initial inquiry regarding the constitution of the panel, prompting the learned President to inform you that Justice Conteh had been lawfully extended pursuant to Article 102(2), you demanded to see his instrument and disrespectfully stated: “… I do not want to hear such childish propositions. I am a lawyer. I must accept it because you say so?”

  • (2) When Justice of Appeal Adderley suggested to you that if the President told you from the bench that Justice of Appeal Conteh had a valid instrument of extension that that should be the end of the matter, you disrespectfully asked Justice Adderley: “Am I going to have to reply to you in the same way with such nonsense?”

  • (3) After being informed by the learned President that in view of Article 102(2) of the Constitution, your argument could only be that the proceedings were not “proceedings that were commenced before Justice Conteh before he attained the age of retirement”, you disrespectfully stated: “I have said that over and over again…. This kind of debate that I seem to get into… and it maybe comes from familiarity which they say breeds contempt…but I will tell you this: When I am at this podium for my clients, I do not expect any favours from any judge. I have an application to the Court, I have an obligation to my client. I understand the cases. I understand the authorities. I also understand why it might be convenient to have Justice of Appeal Conteh here. That is not my business…”

  • (4) After being cautioned by the learned President against being disrespectful to the Court, you stated: “My Lady, you are disrespectful by suggesting to me that because you say so it must be the law; and Justice of Appeal Conteh saying to me that it is his instrument of appointment and he will not make it available to the Bar. What are we doing here?”

  • (5) That after the decision of the panel to proceed with the hearing of the appeals, you refused to accept the decision of the Court to proceed and announced in a defiant tone: “The record will reflect that I did not give appearances and I have no intention of giving them…”

  • (6) That on being asked by the President as to the basis on which you were seeking permission to withdraw you stated “Well, I cannot ask permission of the so-called Court, because it is my submission that we do not have one. I was not heard on the arguments; you just simply gave your ruling, which is to be expected. That is the order of business here. But my duty requires me not to jeopardize the interests of the client. I cannot make representations to a Court which, in my view, does not exist, until a Court of competent jurisdiction declares that it is properly constituted.”

  • (7) That you were further disrespectful in your response to Justice of Appeal Conteh when he enquired whether you had discussed your proposed application for leave to withdraw with your clients when you dismissively retorted: “I'm not even speaking to you.”

  • (8) That after indicating to the Court that you were not asking permission to withdraw, you were directed to enter the appearances and to proceed. You disrespectfully replied saying: “My Lady, you cannot direct me to go on. You cannot direct me to go on.”

  • (9) That you ignored the Court when asked again for appearances, you gave no answer, turned your back to the bench, sat down and proceeded to pack your papers at the bar table preparing to leave.

  • (10) That you continued to sit and to pack your papers while the learned President was addressing you, thereby defying the Court.

  • (11) That you discourteously withdrew from the Court while Mr. Justice Adderley was speaking to you and before you obtained permission to leave and before the Court rose.

  • (12) That by your insolent behaviour before the Court, you held the Court up to ridicule and disrespect, and prejudiced the due administration of justice.

  • (13) That you defiantly refused to accept the ruling of the Court on your “observation” regarding Justice Conteh's continuing as a part of the constitution of the Court and without notice to the appellants (your clients) and leave of the Court, withdrew your services as counsel to them. This resulted in the unexpected adjournment of and delay in the hearing of the appeals so as to afford the appellants an opportunity to consult and retain another counsel to prosecute their appeals. You thereby willfully and intentionally interrupted the due course of the hearing of the appeals and interfered with the due and proper administration of justice”

6

As noted, on 13 October 2015, the matter was...

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