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Case details

Suraj and others (Appellants) v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0064

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

Case summary

Issue

Whether restrictions brought in by the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] Regulations, 2020 are constitutional?

Facts

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Minister of Health of Trinidad and Tobago made a series of regulations that inter alia severely limited gatherings of people. The Appellants were charged with offences for breaching these regulations in June 2020. The Appellants claimed that the regulations are unconstitutional, and that their arrest and charge was unlawful, seeking damages and costs.

The Appellants argue that the regulations are inconsistent with fundamental human rights protected by the Constitution including the right to respect for private and family life, freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and religious belief and observance, and freedom of association and assembly. In September 2020, the High Court dismissed the Appellants’ claim. In April 2021, the Court of Appeal dismissed the Appellants’ appeal. The Appellants now appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Suraj and others (Appellants)

Respondent(s)

Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

22 March 2022

Hearing finish date

22 March 2022