Isaac ready to proceed as Privy Council ends government’s challenges

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The former Executive Secretary of the Board of Education, Gisele Isaac, celebrated another victory yesterday after the Privy Council struck down the government’s appeal effort to dismiss her case against the Minister of Education and Cabinet.
But, the journey is far from over for the two parties because the Council’s decision now paves the way for the substantive case to proceed in the High Court.
Nonetheless, Isaac told OBSERVER media that she’s “grateful” and “feels good” with the outcome so far and for the support that she has been receiving ever since she was suspended and then constructively dismissed from her post in August 2014.
She explained, “This case is about the appeal the government made of the High Court decision more than a year ago to allow me to bring a case against Michael Browne and the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda.”
In April 2015 and March 2016 respectively, the High Court in Antigua and Barbuda and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court struck down the applications by the government which argued that Isaac had taken the incorrect approach when she filed her claim. Having lost, the government then took its arguments to the Privy Council, the final appellate court.
Although the matter has been dragging on for this long, Isaac said this has not deterred her because she knows she may “have to wait a while. But there can be justice, and, in my case, I am confident that there will be justice served.”
There were two contentions before the Council: 1) whether the fixed date claim form filed by Isaac was an application for judicial review, and 2) whether the nature of the controversy disclosed in her claim was a private law claim involving an employment dispute, for which the appropriate forum was the Industrial Court, notwithstanding that Isaac was employed by a public authority.
The government’s position was that her claim was for judicial review and therefore she ought to have applied for leave to make such an application under the Civil Procedure Rules 56.3 and 56.4 of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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