Press release from Office of the Attorney General of St. Kitts and Nevis
Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 28, 2020 ( Office of the Attorney General of St. Kitts and Nevis): The Hon. Marcella A. Liburd, Hon. Konris Maynard and The Rt. Hon. Denzil L. Douglas of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party have instituted a constitutional challenge to the State of Emergency and COVID Emergency Regulations which have been promulgated in response to the global Corona Virus Pandemic.
By an Originating Motion filed on May 22, 2020 and served on the Attorney General’s Chambers on May 27th, 2020 they argue that the State of Emergency is contrary to law and is null, void and of no effect. The Claimants also argue that the COVID-19 Emergency Measures are not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society, are not reasonably required in the interests of public safety, public order or public health and are discriminatory against the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. In addition, the Claimant contends that the alleged discriminatory nature of the COVID-19 Emergency Regulations provides the ruling party with an unfair and unequal advantage and suppresses the Claimants and their political party, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
The Claimants also argue that the ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation has been contravening their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and the right to be protected from discrimination.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis does not agree with the Claimants. On March 28th, 2020 the Governor General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton proclaimed a State of Emergency after St. Kitts and Nevis confirmed its first two cases of COVID –19. The Emergency Regulations were instituted to fight this emergency.
These Regulations were put in place on the advice of medical experts on the grounds that the measures outlined therein were reasonably required in the interest of public order and public health to combat COVID-19 in the Federation. These measures apply equally to everyone in the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis.
Daily briefings have been conducted by the COVID-19 Task Force. These briefings have been presented in an unbiased and professional manner and have demonstrated, the effectiveness of the measures outlined in the Emergency Regulations. The response of the COVID- 19 Task Force has been measured and has resulted in our country having at this time no hospitalizations or deaths from the Corona Virus and no known active Corona Virus cases.
The Attorney General states that the constitutional challenge by Hon. Marcella A. Liburd, Hon. Konris Maynard and The Rt. Hon. Denzil L. Douglas will be vigorously defended. The Hearing of the matter is set for Thursday, May 28, 2020.