‘Nothing unlawful’ – CJ says as she dismisses police promotion case
Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, in a ruling handed down on Monday, did not grant any of the reliefs sought in a case initiated by Senior Superintendent, Calvin Brutus which challenges the 2020 promotion of police ranks by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
“None of the reliefs sought can be granted,” the Chief Justice said. She insisted that there was nothing unlawful in considering a disciplinary matter in making a determination of whether a police rank could be promoted or not.
Brutus and several other ranks had asked the Court to declare that the PSC’s decision to not promote ranks who have disciplinary action was unlawful and to also quash the promotions of Edmond Cooper, Philip Azore and Kurleigh Simon – all Senior Superintendents of Police.
“I would not quash their promotion,” Justice George said. She explained also that the Court could not compel the Commission to reconsider its decision but asked that a system be put in place to ensure that disciplinary matters are finalised without delay.
The Chief Justice said the points ventilated during the hearing of the matter show that there is a poor and haphazard system for dealing with disciplinary matters of police officers.
As a solution, she said this needs to be urgently addressed with requisite systems being instituted.
Brutus and other officers who were recommended for promotion had moved to the Court to challenge the PSC’s decision not to promote them although they had been recommended for promotion.
But according to the Chief Justice, this may have been premature since no final list was ever announced.
She said what it shows is that there is discord among senior officers, a matter that the Force must address forthwith.
Brutus has claimed discrimination in him being denied a promotion because there were pending disciplinary allegations against him and in the process also challenged the promotion of other officers who he claims also have disciplinary matters pending.
But according to Justice George, the claim that other officers have disciplinary matters is vague and the court cannot rely on the claim being made by Brutus.
The Chief Justice said she does not agree that the PSC must ignore disciplinary matters when it comes to promotion.
She said she could not reasonably declare the policy as unlawful and said it could amount to a usurpation of the PSC’s authority.