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Case details

Jean-Rony Jean Charles (Appellant) v The Honourable Carl Bethel (in his capacity as Attorney General of the Bahamas) and 3 others (Respondents) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0100

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary


Was the Court of Appeal correct to conclude that the Judge should not have determined a constitutional application under Article 28 of the Constitution of The Bahamas (providing for the enforcement of fundamental rights) in all of the circumstances?


In September 2017, the Appellant was arrested and detained by immigration officers after failing to produce documents proving his lawful presence in The Bahamas. He was expelled to Haiti on 24 November 2017. The Appellant was not charged with any offence or taken to any court prior to his expulsion, nor was any detention order made in respect of him.

An ex parte application for a writ of habeas corpus was issued on the Appellant’s behalf, followed by an application for constitutional relief pursuant to Article 28 of the Constitution. Despite there being unresolved factual issues between the parties, Hilton J dismissed the writ of habeas corpus but granted constitutional relief to the Appellant, finding that his detention and expulsion had been unlawful and that his constitutional rights had been breached. Hilton J made various remedial orders which facilitated the Appellant’s return to The Bahamas, where he remains to date.

The Respondents appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that it was not open to the Judge to determine the constitutional motion after having dismissed the writ of habeas corpus. The Appellant cross-appealed the decision to dismiss the writ of habeas corpus. The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the Respondents’ appeal and dismissed the Appellant’s cross-appeal.

The Appellant now appeals to the Board contending that Hilton J was correct to grant him constitutional relief.



Jean-Rony Jean Charles


The Honourable Carl Bethel (in his capacity as Attorney General of the Bahamas) and others



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

5 July 2022

Hearing finish date

5 July 2022

Watch hearing
5 July 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

15 December 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKPC 51