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Case details

Michael Paul Chen-Young and others (Appellants) v Eagle Merchant Bank Jamaica Ltd and 3 others (Respondents) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0101

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary

Issue

(1) Whether the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to determine an allegation of breach of constitutional rights on grounds of delay in circumstances where that allegation was made for the first time during the course of the appeal.

(2) Whether a litigant is entitled to their thrown away legal costs in respect of an appeal hearing which was nullified due to the judge’s failure to comply with provisions of the Constitution.

(3) Whether the 2013 Court of Appeal hearing was a nullity.

Facts

In mid-1997, the shareholders of the Respondents – including the First Appellant – sold their shares to the Government of Jamaica for one Jamaican dollar. Following this, the Respondents filed a claim against the appellants claiming damages for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence and conversion.

In 2006, the Supreme Court of Jamaica gave judgment for the Respondents, after which the Appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was heard in March 2013 by Panton P., McIntosh J.A. and Dukharan J.A., who reserved judgment.

Before they gave judgment, each of the three judges reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 without applying to the Governor General under section 106(2) of the Jamaican Constitution for permission to continue in office for such period as to enable them to deliver their judgment. As a result, the Appellants filed a motion to vacate the hearing.

In December 2017, the Court of Appeal purported to deliver its judgment, however in April 2018 that judgment was declared to be a nullity by a differently constituted Court of Appeal. In doing so, however, the Court of Appeal made no order as to compensation for legal costs in respect of the March 2013 hearing as well as the motion to vacate the hearing.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Michael Paul Chen-Young and others

Respondent(s)

Eagle Merchant Bank Jamaica Ltd and others

Appeal

Justices

Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

23 June 2022

Hearing finish date

23 June 2022

Watch hearing
23 June 2022 Afternoon session