Case details

Seepersad (a minor) (Appellant) v Ayers-Ceasar (Respondent) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0097

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue(s)
  1. Whether, when a minor is charged with a non-bailable offence such as murder, it is open to the court to grant interim relief (in the form of a release from custody) either under the Judicial Review Act, or under s.14 of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, notwithstanding the existence of s.22(2) of the State Liability and Proceedings Act.
  2. Whether a minor charged with a non-bailable offence is nevertheless entitled to bail if there are no Community Residences in which they could be detained pursuant to ss. 54 and 60 of the Children Act.
Facts

The Appellant, who was a minor at the time this claim was filed, had been charged with murder. In January 2014, aged either fifteen or sixteen, she was remanded to the Women’s Adult Prison and, in accordance with s.5(1) of the Bail Act, she was not eligible for bail. However, various provisions of the Children Act specified that it was inappropriate for a child to be detained in an adult prison and in September 2015 the Appellant applied for judicial review of the decision. Within the judicial review proceedings she sought interim relief, specifically that she should be released from custody either into the care of her mother, or into a suitable Community Residence, pending the outcome of her case.

This application was heard on 28 September 2015, but the first-instance judge declined to grant relief. He concluded that he had no power do so in light of s.22 of the State Liability and Proceedings Act and the decision of the Court of Appeal in Attorney-General v Sumair Bansraj. The Appellant appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal, who held that the court was entitled to grant interim relief. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal directed that the Appellant should be transferred into the custody of a suitable Community Residence, notwithstanding the fact that there was no licensed Community Residence in Trinidad and Tobago. The Appellant now appeals this decision to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Sasha Seepersad

Respondent(s)

Her Worship Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Ceasar and others

Appeal

Justices

Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Hodge, Lady Black

Hearing start date

31 Oct 2018

Hearing finish date

31 Oct 2018

Watch hearing
31 Oct 2018 Morning session Afternoon session