Landmark Decision of the Full Court in the Supreme Court of Jamaica between: the Director of Public Prosecutions - Claimant and Senior Resident Magistrate - Defendant
Kern Spencer and Colleen Wright are before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court for breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act. Following an adjourned hearing of the criminal trial, the DPP was served with a subpoena, issued by the Clerk of Courts on behalf of the defence, to attend court to give evidence on their behalf about the contents of an interview with Rodney Chin, a former accused who became a chief witness for the prosecution. The prosecution applied for the subpoena to be set aside and the Court refused and ordered that the DPP adopt the usual behavior of subpoenaed witnesses which meant that the learned DPP should remain outside of court during the continuation of the taking of the evidence of Mr. Rodney Chin. The DPP refused to adopt this course.
An application for Judicial Review was made by the learned DPP before the Full Court in which she sought to impugn the interlocutory orders. The following reliefs were sought:
In a landmark decision, by a two-to-one majority, the Full Court quashed the decision of the Senior Resident Magistrate refusing to set aside the subpoena and quashed the subpoena. The Court also quashed the Order of the Senior Resident Magistrate that the DPP should remain out of hearing for the remainder of the evidence of the witness, Rodney Chin. The Honourable Mr. Justice Evon Brown stated at paragraph 130 that “…there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the learned DPP much less evidence amounting to bad faith.” Click here to view judgment