Saint Lucia
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Privy Council Orders Hilaire to Pay Court Costs to Chastanet!

L-R: Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information Ernest Hilaire.

In the matter of Ernest Hilaire v Allen Chastanet, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council  reported this week that having considered an appeal to reverse, alter or vary the judgment of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean (Saint Lucia) dated 16 January 2020 Mr. Hilaire’s appeal has been dismissed. Moreover, that Mr. Hilaire should pay the respondent’s costs before the Judicial Committee and in the courts below.

The appeal came before the Privy Council in February this year. Judgment was given in June. According to the JCPC, the central issue in the proceedings was whether the Defamation Act 2013 which was enacted by the Westminster Parliament is imported into the law of Saint Lucia by article 917A. “In particular, we are concerned with the question whether the introduction by section 8 of the 2013 Act of the single publication rule and further provision for the time of the accrual of a cause of action means that the claim in these proceedings is largely if not completely time barred.”

In a release to the local press immediately following the decision, Mr. Hilaire stated: “A few years ago Allen Chastanet made serious statements which I was advised were defamatory, as it alleged that I was involved in corruption during my tenure as High Commission in the UK. I have no doubt he did so for political expediency to damage my reputation, integrity and my career and done out of malice as his accusations were baseless, untrue and he knew that . . . The [Privy Council] decision cannot be appealed any further and as such all that is left to be done is to await the advice of the attorney general on the corrective measures that need to be taken to ensure that the law of Saint Lucia is certain and not left with ambiguity.”

Mr. Hilaire ended his release on a curious note: “As it relates to my case against Allen Chastanet, I will be consulting my lawyers on the next steps in the hearing.” Mr. Hilaire is the deputy prime minister of Saint Lucia, with responsibility for the tourism, investment, creative industries and information portfolios. He is also the MP for Castries South. Mr. Chastanet, is the Leader of the House opposition and the representative for Micoud South. He was prime minister from 2016 to 2021.