Human Rights advocate Mary Francis believes the outcome of the latest case brought by Micoud South MP Allen Chastanet against the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Attorney General be groundbreaking and ‘an eye-opener.’
Chastanet filed the case against Claudius Francis and the Attorney General, claiming multiple breaches of his constitutional rights, including unlawful detention.
The matter concerns a May 2nd vote by the government-dominated parliament to suspend him pending an apology regarding allegations of government corruption in selling land at Bananes.
As Chastanet walked out of the Chamber before the vote, the House Speaker told the police on duty that the opposition leader should not leave.
Officers followed Chastanet, who returned shortly after with them in tow.
Mary Francis believes what occurred constituted an infringement of liberty.
“I have been following the matter, and I think this should be a groundbreaking case for Saint Lucia in terms of the issues involved,” the outspoken Attorney at Law stated.
Francis said the issues included the powers of the Speaker, the process of constitutional rights, and the rights of individuals, including politicians, not to have their liberties illegally infringed.
The Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Coordinator also observed legal representation for the House Speaker and Allen Chastanet would come at a cost.
And she declared that when the state abuses a poor person’s constitutional rights, the victim must also find money to seek redress.
As a result, Francis said the government should provide a Human Rights Commission to assist poor citizens whose rights the state violates.
She described the introduction of such a commission as a pressing issue in Saint Lucia because poor people need legal aid.