Stubbs, Patton, Brice and Mckenzie v Ferguson (Commissioner of Police) and Attorney General

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeMeeres, D.R.:
Judgment Date06 Jan 2015
Docket Number2009/PUB/CON/00011; 2009/PUB/CON/00012; 2009/PUB/CON/00013; 2009/PUB/CON/00015

Supreme Court

Meeres, D.P.

2009/PUB/CON/00011; 2009/PUB/CON/00012; 2009/PUB/CON/00013; 2009/PUB/CON/00015

Stubbs, Patton, Brice and Mckenzie
and
Ferguson (Commissioner of Police) and Attorney General
Appearances:

Roger Gomez Jr. for plaintiffs

David Higgins, Stephanie Pintard and Olivia Nixon with him for the defendants

Damages - Assessment — Breach of the Constitution — Plaintiffs on bail for extensive period of time without having their matters heard — Sixteen and thirteen years respectively — Curfews, fact of limited employment and that their lives were put on hold considered — No evidence presented of losses claimed as a result of the unreasonable delay — Quantum — Interest applied — Article 20 (1) of the Constitution.

Meeres, D.R.:
1

This is an Assessment of Damages as a result of a Judgment of the Honourable Stephen G. Isaacs, J given on the 22nd June, 2012.

2

In his conclusion His Lordship dealt with some of the entitlements of the plaintiffs and ordered that their damages be assessed only on the issue of damages for breach of Article 20 (1) of the Constitution.

3

Each plaintiff gave evidence at the Assessment as to what they consider they are entitled to.

4

Mr. Neil Braithwaite gave evidence on behalf of the defendants as to why the plaintiffs were on bail for such a long period without their matters being advanced. His view was a stay of the proceedings was the appropriate remedy. However, Isaacs J. in his ruling decided that they should be compensated for breach of Article 20 (1) of the Constitution.

5

The Judgment of Isaacs J. is very specific as to what damages are to be assessed. He dealt with various issues, particularly salaries and gratuities, and thus this Court need only deal with the breach of Article 20(1) of the Constitution.

6

Article 20 (1) provides as follows: 20 (1) if any person is charged with a criminal offence, then, unless the charge is withdrawn, the case shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.

7

Mr. Higgins has submitted that both Stephen Isaacs, J. in his Ruling and Jon Isaacs, J. in an earlier Ruling on 26th June, 2008 found that there was no malice against the plaintiffs although their rights had been infringed and that it was actually more administrative than aggravated or malicious.

8

There is no question that there was lengthy delay by the Prosecution. Stubbs, Patton, Brice were subject to prosecution for sixteen (16) years and McKenzie...

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