Richard Clayton QC acts in two important Privy Council appeals in October 2018
Richard is conducting two significant cases before the Privy Council this month. On 30 October the Privy Council hears Maharj v A-G of Trinidad which concerns the system of appointing High Court judges in Trinidad. Section 110 of the Trinidad Constitution stipulates that judges shall be appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The Appellant is challenging the fact that the Commission comprised 4 rather than 5 members (as section 110 requires), whether the membership should exclusively comprise judges or ex judges (despite the language of s 110 suggesting the contrary) and whether breaches of the constitution can be overridden by ordinary legislation, s 36 of the Interpretation Act. The following day the Privy Council will hear Seepersad v A-G of Trinidad. The 17 year old appellant was detained in adult prison pending trial in breach of her constitutional rights- contrary to the Children Act, which the Government failed to implement. The Trinidad courts refused to make an interim order detaining the Appellant in the custody of her mother, principally because a Trinidad Court of Appeal authority takes a restrictive approach to interim relief in constitutional cases, which the Privy Council will be asked to overrule. In March 2019 Richard will appear in 3 further Privy Council appeals.