Case details

Attorney General (Appellant) v Dumas (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2015/0069

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary


Whether the court has jurisdiction to determine the respondent’s claim for a declaration that the appointments of two members to the Police Service Commission are unconstitutional.


On 4 September 2013 the President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago gave notification of his nomination of four persons qualified for appointment to the Police Service Commission in accordance with s 122 of the Constitution. The nominations were laid before the House of Representatives, debated on 13 November 2013 and approved. The respondent issued proceedings on 10 April 2014 by Fixed Date Claim form seeking to challenge the appointment of two of the members on the ground that they did not meet the qualifications for appointment set out in s 122 (3). The judge ordered that the question of the entitlement of the respondent to bring the proceedings be determined as a preliminary issue. He held that proceedings for the interpretation of the Constitution could only be brought under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) where the claimant alleged breach of his or her fundamental rights. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against this order, holding that the court had jurisdiction under CPR Part 56 to determine questions of constitutional interpretation brought by a concerned citizen, and the procedural error of bringing the claim under Part 62 could be corrected.



Attorney General


Reginald Dumas



Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

31 Jan 2017

Hearing finish date

31 Jan 2017

Watch hearing
31 Jan 2017 Morning session