High court keeps Boundaries Commission injunction intact

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The injunction barring the Boundaries Commission from submitting a report proposing boundaries changes will remain in place, at least until April 11.

Justice Clare Henry granted the extension in the High Court yesterday, in a hearing involving the applicants – Antigua Labour Party (ALP) MPs Asot Michael and Lester Bird versus the Boundaries Commission, Attorney General Justin Simon QC and the attorney general on behalf of the governor general.

Up until yesterday, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Speaker of the House D Gisele Isaac were named as respondents in the application filed on March 11.

However, following Simon’s submissions, their names were struck from the claim as well as from the injunction.

Simon said that was done in light of the fact that the commission’s report had not been submitted to the speaker at the time the ALP officials had obtained the injunction.

And, further, according to him, it was necessary because the prime minister would have had to “receive the report from the speaker to lay it on the table of the House of Representatives in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.”

Come April 11, Simon QC said the court will have its first hearing regarding the substantive matter and would give directions to the parties on the way forward.

As soon as the High Court opened for business at 8:30 am March 11, MPs Michael and Bird applied for and obtained the injunction in an ex-parte (in the absence of the named respondents) hearing.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)