LXP successfully defends Attorney General
July 2011

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    In early 2011 Lennox Paton acted for Mr. John F.K. Delaney QC in his capacity as  Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas  and in his personal capacity in a case brought by Mrs. Cheryl Bethel Grant, the former Deputy Directory of Public Prosecutions, for judicial review of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission ("JLSC") failure to consider her application to be appointed Director of Public Prosecutions.  

    This case raised a number of important and novel issues relating to the obligations of the JLSC to consider applications for legal positions in the civil service. After  extensive hearings in January,  February and March, 2011 the Court dismissed Mrs. Grant Bethel application for judicial review and acceded to Lennox Paton's applications to have the proceedings against Mr. Delaney in his official capacity struck out and the proceedings against  him in his personal capacity severed from the judicial review proceedings.  

    In striking out the proceedings against Mr. Delaney in his official capacity the Court found that the Mrs. Grant-Bethel's claim was for relief relating to a decision of the JLSC solely and as such the Attorney General was not a necessary or proper party for the judicial review proceedings. As far the case against Mr. Delaney in his personal capacity, this appears to be the first case in the Bahamas  in which the tort of misfeasance in public office was raised against an attorney general or any government minister or civil servant.  Lennox Paton sought to have this claim against Mr. Delaney struck out on the basis that it had no reasonable prospect of success or alternatively was frivolous and vexatious.  However, the Court ordered  that this aspect of the case be severed. This claim remains outstanding.  

    Mr. Brian C. Simms QC and Mr. Marco M. Turnquest  acted for Mr. Delaney.

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