Case details

Meadows and others (Appellants) v The Attorney General and another (Respondents) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0036

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary

  1. Whether the Minister of Mining and Energy (the "Minister") had the power to grant an exclusive licence for the supply of electricity for the entire island of Jamaica to the Jamaica Public Service Company ("JPS"), for a period of 20 years (the "Licence") under s.3 of the Electric Lighting Act ("ELA").
  2. Whether the power under s.3 of the ELA was limited to the power to grant separate licences to different licence holders for different areas of Jamaica.
  3. Whether the Minister’s exercise of his power under s.3 of the ELA was Wednesbury unreasonable.

The Minister granted the Licence in March 2001. The appellants, who comprise representatives of two citizens action groups and a businessman, challenged the grant of the Licence contending that s.3 of the ELA did not empower the Minister to grant an exclusive licence. In a judgment of 30 July 2012, the Supreme Court held that the Minister had the power to grant a licence to one operator to generate, distribute and transmit electricity throughout the entire island of Jamaica, however did not have the power to grant an exclusive licence. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellants' appeal against the finding that s.3 did not preclude the grant of an all-island licence and allowed the respondents appeal, holding that the Minister did have the power to grant a single exclusive licence.


  1. Dennis Meadows
  2. Betty-Ann Blaine
  3. Cyrus Rousseau
  1. The Attorney General
  2. The Jamaica Public Service Company



Lord Neuberger, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath

Hearing start date

12 Jul 2017

Hearing finish date

12 Jul 2017

Watch hearing
12 Jul 2017 Morning session