Behanzin trial delayed till September 16th, 2011

A trial to determine whether former Magistrate Tiyani Behanzin should have been called to the dominica bar association has been delayed till September 16th.

Behanzin had taken court action against former Attorney General (AG) Francine Baron-Royer for not following through on an alleged promise to admit him to the bar.

The trial was supposed to have been heard on Thursday but was adjourned to allow solicitors for the AG more time to file affidavits in response to Behanzin’s claims.

The former Magistrate was disappointed with the postponement.

Behanzin was appointed Magistrate by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) based in St. Lucia and was granted a two-year contract by the Dominica government, but his employment was terminated in March 2011 when his contract was not renewed.

Without being admitted to the bar, Behanzin will not be eligible to practice law in Dominica. He can only do so if granted an exemption from the government.  In that regard, he is seeking this waiver based on experience, qualifications and the legitimate expectation from the alleged promise. 

Disclosure was ordered to be filed by June 23 and witness statements by July 22nd, 2011.  Each side will have the opportunity to present three witnesses for cross examination during the trial.

Affidavits from the AG solicitors are to be filed in 14 days. There was no agreement as to costs.

The trial is estimated to last one day.

Behanzin was represented by Attorney Don Christopher.

Levi Peters is the current Attorney General.

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