Brighter Law

Court of Appeal Summary

The following are the past month’s summaries of the civil decisions in the Court of Appeal for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 In Liviu Zins v Anca Glesnea [2022] TCACA 5, the Appellant/Employer appealed against a decision of the Supreme Court finding in favour of the Respondent/Employee for breach of contract employment and damages. The Respondent had filed an application with the Labour Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) for outstanding wages and other payments on the basis of unfair dismissal in or around January 2014. The application was never heard by the Tribunal and the Respondent commenced an action by way of writ and statement of claim in the Supreme Court in or around April 2015. The Court of Appeal held: (1) all of the claims made by the Respondent in the Supreme Court proceedings for unfair dismissal properly fall within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal; and (2) the trial judge erred in concluding that the Tribunal application and the Supreme Court proceedings could proceed concurrently. The decision is important as it affirms the jurisdiction of the Tribunal in matters relating to unfair dismissal, employment and matters proceeding under the Employment Ordinance CAP 17.08 (with certain exceptions). 

 In Mon Alhashash v Derek Been, Director of Immigration [2022] TCACA 6, the Appellant was a Syrian national who arrived in the TCI illegally and was convicted of the offence of unlawful entry. After a period of detention, a writ of habeas corpus was issued and the Appellant released on conditions. After his release the Appellant’s attorneys lodged an application for asylum and relisted the writ of habeas corpus on the basis that the terms of release amounted to continued detention. Mr Justice Simons QC of the Supreme Court ordered a second writ of habeas corpus but after hearing submissions had it dismissed. The Appellant appealed the decision of Mr Justice Simons QC. Both parties submitted that Mr Justice Simons QC erred in his application and reliance upon principles in the seminal decision in R v Governor of Durham Prison ex p. Hardial Singh [1984] 1 WLR 704. The Appellant further submitted that Mr Justice Simons QC failed to consider whether the conditions on the Appellant’s release constituted continued detention. The Court of Appeal held: (1) Mr Justice Simons QC erred in reliance on the Hardial Singh principles which had no role to play in the case; (2) the conditions imposed on the appellant did not amount to continued detention; (3) the conditions were within the Director’s statutory powers; and (4) the dismissal of the writ of habeas corpus was correct. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. 

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