Lovell v The Queen

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtCaribbean Court of Justice
JudgeSaunders, J.CCJ.
Judgment Date08 Dec 2014
Docket NumberCCJ Appeal BBCR6 of 2014; BB10 of 2008

Caribbean Court of Justice

Saunders, J.CCJ.; Wit, J.CCJ; Anderson, J.CCJ.

CCJ Appeal BBCR6 of 2014; BB10 of 2008

Lovell
and
The Queen
Appearances:

Mr. Steve Gallop and Mr. Hal Gollop for the applicant.

Mr. Alair P Shepherd QC and Ms Wendy Maraj for the respondent.

Application for special leave to appeal and for leave to appeal as a poor person — Whether the case warranted a final appeal before the final court.

THE APPLICATIONS BEFORE THE COURT
Saunders, J.CCJ.
1

Andrew Lovell was convicted of manslaughter by a majority verdict in March, 2008. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 22 years. An appeal of both his sentence and conviction was dismissed on 23rd October, 2013.

2

Lovell had no right of appeal to this Court but the relevant provision of the Rules of the Court [Caribbean Court of Justice (Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules 2008 Part 10.12.] provides that within forty-two (42) days of the dismissal of his appeal he could have applied for permission to appeal that decision. If he desired to appeal, his application should have been filed about the 4th December, 2013. It was not so filed because Lovell needed legal aid to assist him in filing it and, for reasons beyond his control, he had no real access to a lawyer until March 2014.

3

On 15th May, 2014 Lovell's attorney filed applications for special leave to appeal and for leave to appeal as a poor person. These applications were naturally out of time. The attorney should have requested an extension of time to file them. No such request was made. Further, having filed the applications, the Attorney was required by the Rules [Caribbean Court of Justice (Appellate Jurisdiction) Rules, 2008 Part 10.14(2)] to serve them on the State, the respondent, within seven (7) days after filing, that is, by the 26th May, 2014. [The period of 7 days excludes Saturdays and Sundays. See Part 5.2(5)(a) of the Rules.] This requirement too was not observed. Apparently, the attorney was under the misapprehension that when the applications were filed by email they had straight away also been served on the State by email. After the failure to serve was drawn to Lovell's attorney's attention on 5th September 2014, the attorney gave instructions to his staff to remedy the lapse but those instructions were not carried out. On 7th October, 2014 Lovell's attorney was again alerted of the failure to serve the documents on the State and on the following day he made an application to extend the time for such service.

4

In light of all the foregoing this Court directed that Lovell should file written submissions to show cause why his application for special leave ought not to be dismissed for want of prosecution. The State was also requested to respond to these submissions. Having read both sets of submissions the Court adjudges that Lovell's applications should be dismissed.

THE REASONS FOR DISMISSING THE APPLICATIONS
5

In instances where an applicant is out of time for filing an application for special leave to appeal, the applicant must seek an extension of time. In our recent decision in June Blackman aka June Gill v. Elma Carmen Gittens-Blackman [ [2014] CCJ 17 (AJ).] this Court held that the failure to seek such an extension impacts the jurisdiction of the Court to treat with the application for special leave. The Court also indicated that while in certain circumstances it may excuse delay, it will only do so in order to avert a...

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