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#1 Oct 24, 2018 9:38 am

gripe
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Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

To those interested, Mr. Layne's case was heard before the Privy Council this morning. Unfortunately, although the hearing was carried live, I missed it having overslept. A summary of the issue is at the link: https://www.jcpc.uk/cases/jcpc-2017-0017.html

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#2 Oct 24, 2018 9:44 am

New Historian
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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

When murders become lawyers..... sad

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#3 Oct 24, 2018 10:32 am

Slice
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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

watch you mouth NH.  Headache and I were kinda friends.

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#4 Oct 24, 2018 10:42 am

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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

I used to see those "17" congregate on Hog Island on Sundays, they always walk in a "gang". He may have been your friend but he's still a.....

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#5 Oct 24, 2018 11:13 am

gripe
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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

NH, I don't think that your summary statement -- you could very well have been one of the litigants at this morning's hearing -- is the only issue in the case. As I understand them, the issues are much broader than your statement. 

For example, one consideration is whether or not crimes committed prior to making an application to the Bar are fully disqualifying because they demonstrate that the applicant does not have the requisite character to be an attorney. Yet, even that question is not the total picture for consideration. Also relevant are questions such as (a) the time that elapsed between the crimes and the application for Bar membership; (b) whether the person has shown remorse and (c) applicable precedent that allows for even a convicted murderer to be a member of the Bar.

Here are some examples to consider even though they are all U.S. cases (courts sometimes refer to other countries' cases to guide their decisions when faced with a problematic issue):

1. James Hamm: a convicted murderer whose efforts to become an attorney were denied by the Arizona Supreme Court. Note this:

"Mr. Hamm is trying to become a rarity in the legal profession, a lawyer with a murder conviction. Most states allow felons with proper credentials to practice law, but few have admitted anyone to the bar who has committed a homicide." https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/27/us/a … awyer.html

You can read more about Mr. Hamm here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hamm

2. Reginald Betts: a convicted felon on his way to becoming an attorney. I am betting on Betts being admitted to the Bar in Connecticut. See his story here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/from-jail- … me-lawyer/

3. Martin Tankleff: spent 17 years in jail wrongfully convicted of murder but was on his way to being an attorney. See this link: https://nypost.com/2017/04/27/man-wrong … -a-lawyer/

4. Stanley Cohen: he just got readmitted to the NY Bar after his tax conviction and incarceration: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/nyre … rists.html

So, Ewart's efforts are very challenging but not unique and it will be a ground-breaking decision if the Privy Council rules in his favor and he is called to the Bar.

Last edited by gripe (Oct 24, 2018 11:15 am)

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#6 Oct 24, 2018 11:52 am

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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

gripe wrote:

NH, I don't think that your summary statement -- you could very well have been one of the litigants at this morning's hearing -- is the only issue in the case. As I understand them, the issues are much broader than your statement. 

For example, one consideration is whether or not crimes committed prior to making an application to the Bar are fully disqualifying because they demonstrate that the applicant does not have the requisite character to be an attorney. Yet, even that question is not the total picture for consideration. Also relevant are questions such as (a) the time that elapsed between the crimes and the application for Bar membership; (b) whether the person has shown remorse and (c) applicable precedent that allows for even a convicted murderer to be a member of the Bar.

Here are some examples to consider even though they are all U.S. cases (courts sometimes refer to other countries' cases to guide their decisions when faced with a problematic issue):

1. James Hamm: a convicted murderer whose efforts to become an attorney were denied by the Arizona Supreme Court. Note this:

"Mr. Hamm is trying to become a rarity in the legal profession, a lawyer with a murder conviction. Most states allow felons with proper credentials to practice law, but few have admitted anyone to the bar who has committed a homicide." https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/27/us/a … awyer.html

You can read more about Mr. Hamm here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hamm

2. Reginald Betts: a convicted felon on his way to becoming an attorney. I am betting on Betts being admitted to the Bar in Connecticut. See his story here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/from-jail- … me-lawyer/

3. Martin Tankleff: spent 17 years in jail wrongfully convicted of murder but was on his way to being an attorney. See this link: https://nypost.com/2017/04/27/man-wrong … -a-lawyer/

4. Stanley Cohen: he just got readmitted to the NY Bar after his tax conviction and incarceration: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/nyre … rists.html

So, Ewart's efforts are very challenging but not unique and it will be a ground-breaking decision if the Privy Council rules in his favor and he is called to the Bar.


Thank you very interesting, and to me yet another reason why Grenada needs to do away with the colonial hangover of the Privy Council.

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#7 Oct 24, 2018 1:49 pm

gripe
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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

NH, you raised a very important current affairs issue for many in the Caribbean when you said that Ewart's case is "yet another reason why Grenada needs to do away with the colonial hangover of the Privy Council." The ongoing debate about replacing the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court Of Justice is creating some headaches, for some.

Here is Peter David arguing for the replacement:

Note that Ruggles Ferguson represented Ewart at this morning's hearing. Ruggles also has his views on the relevance of the Privy Council. See this link:

Finally, please note that Grenada recently filed its first case with the CCJ:

Last edited by gripe (Oct 24, 2018 2:36 pm)

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#8 Oct 24, 2018 2:17 pm

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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

So how can Grenada file a case with the CCJ and the Privy at the same time?

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#9 Oct 24, 2018 5:59 pm

gripe
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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

NH, the following sheds some light on your concern that Grenada is participating in both the CCJ and the Privy Council. That is possible because Grenada has not acceded to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ, only to the CCJ's original jurisdiction. Read on:

"INTRODUCTION

Although few can dispute the significant implications of the proposed appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the region as a whole, it is most likely to be the case that the greatest impact of the court in the lives of the peoples of the region will be felt by virtue of its Original Jurisdiction. Indeed, while the public and professional focus on the court’s appellate jurisdiction is understandable, given its revolutionary implications for the administration of justice in the region, it may be thought that such a focus has been, to some extent, at the expense of an understanding of the court’s fundamental role in the success of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

It should of course always be acknowledged that the scrutiny of the appellate nature of the court is a necessary process which Caricom states had to undergo, in order to ensure that the establishment of the court reflected the legitimate concerns of the citizens of the region. However, that process should in no way detract from or diminish, the essential aspect of the court as the final and only body with responsibility to interpret and apply the provisions of the Treaty of Chaguaramus as amended. As Dr. Carla Barnett, Deputy Secretary General of Caricom noted in Georgetown Guyana on November 27th 2000, in an address to the second meeting of the Regional Collaborative Network to support the Caricom Single Market and Economy, it is perhaps in respect of the court’s Original Jurisdiction, that the move towards full political sovereignty and independence of the region, will be best realised."

"AN ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

It is within such a context that the CCJ’s function as the final arbiter on all matters relating to the interpretation and application of the amended treaty, will be crucial to the success of the CSME, since it will essentially be the custodian of that very environment of predictability and stability. This is what is meant by reference to the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ. So that, where a dispute arises between member states, or for example, between a community national and a member state, as to the extent of the rights and responsibilities of either as referred to above, it will be for the CCJ to interpret the relevant provision of the treaty and to determine once and for all, what rights and responsibilities accrue to whom and in what circumstances. In this way, all actors may be assured of what certain provisions of the treaty mean, and what privileges they may be able to enjoy. In such a case, actors will be able to plan their activities by making the reasonable assessments needed and have the necessary confidence to move around within the single economic space."

The preceding quotes are from: http://archive.stlucia.gov.lc/agencies/ … e_csme.htm

As to the CCJ's appellate jurisdiction, only four Caricom members have signed on -- Barbados, Guyana, Belize & Dominica -- hence the ongoing CCJ v. Privy Council debate at home and the fact that Ewart's case was heard at the Privy Council this morning. Read the following article, "An Opportunity to Accede to the CCJ As The Final Court of Appeal", by Sir Lawrence A. Joseph: http://www.nowgrenada.com/2017/05/oppor … rt-appeal/

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#10 Oct 24, 2018 7:00 pm

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Re: Privy Council Hearing: Ewart Layne v. Attorney General of Grenada

Thanks very much, Counsel!

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