A top Grenadian lawyer believes that his colleagues might be facing an uphill battle to try and overturn a high court decision in the Harbour Master case.
The lawyer who did not want to be identified told THE NEW TODAY that he would never have made a move to impound the boat as was done following an incident in which World class Grenadian javelin thrower Anderson Peters was engaged in an altercation with several crew members of the party boat.
He said it would be difficult to in law to implicate the boat as the cause of the tussle in which Peters was seen on video being overthrow in the water in the encounter with the Trinidadians who were working on the boat during the August 2022 Carnival festival.
The lawyers representing Peters claimed in the case that the crew members of Harbour Master were at “all material times under the management and control of the applicant, and that admiralty in rem claims are intended to hold the vessel responsible for damage and any injury caused to patrons.”
In arguments before female high court judge Agnes Actie, the lead Trinidad lawyer in the case Nyree Alfonso argued that if anyone wants to bring “an in-realm claim” against a vessel they have to show that the ship is the tool that caused the damage and the matter should never have brought in the first place before the court.
According to the Grenadian lawyer, he felt from the onset that this was the wrong approach in the matter and that Anderson Peters and his brother might be exposing themselves to a hefty sum in cost as the case might attract a number of high profile lawyers who would charge large fees.
In her ruling, Justice Actie pointed out that, “this court applying the provisions of Section 3(4) of the Administration of Justice Act and Section 442 of the Shipping Act is of the view that the claimants have failed to meet the jurisdictional thresholds of Sections 1(1)(f) and 3(4) of the Administration of Justice Act and Section 442 of the Shipping Act CAP 303 in order to engage the in rem jurisdiction of this court.”
Justice Actie went on to say: “The court has no jurisdiction in respect of an action in rem which is not brought within the section and the proceedings should be set aside and is so ordered.”
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the ruling of the high court judge on the issue.