The Government of Jamaica has filed an appeal to resolve what it’s describing as an inconsistency in a recent court ruling concerning the tenure of Paula Llewellyn as Director of Public Prosecutions.

Last Friday, the Constitutional Court struck down an amendment that allowed Miss Llewellyn to elect to stay in office beyond her 63rd birthday.

In outlining their reasons for filing the appeal, the government said despite affirmation of the government’s move to increase the retirement age of public officers, “the Court ruled that the current DPP, Paula Llewellyn, could not remain in her position until age 65, creating a significant contradiction within its verdict.”

The government says it remains committed to ensuring that statutory and constitutional amendments serve their intended purposes without ambiguity.

Read full statement:

Government Files Appeal Retirement Age Dispute

In 2017, the Government introduced the Pensions (Public Service) Act 2017, initiating a policy shift to extend the retirement age of public officers from 60 to 65. This change was further cemented by the Constitution (Amendment of Sections 96 (1) and 121 (1)) Act 2023, which specifically adjusted the retirement ages for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Auditor General from 60 to 65.

On April 19, 2024, the Full Court delivered a judgment in the case of Phillip Paulwell et al. vs. the Attorney General of Jamaica. The Court upheld the constitutional amendments, confirming the valid extension of the retirement age for these positions to 65 years. However, despite this affirmation, the Court ruled that the current DPP, Paula Llewellyn, could not remain in her position until age 65, creating a significant contradiction within its verdict.

In response to this conflicting outcome, the Government, represented by the Attorney General, has filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal to resolve this inconsistency. The appeal argues for a harmonisation of the retirement provisions, maintaining the intended retirement benefits for all affected public officers as per sections 2 (2) for the DPP and 3 (2) for the Auditor General, in alignment with the Constitution.

The Government remains committed to ensuring that statutory and constitutional amendments serve the intended purposes without ambiguity or disadvantage to any public officer.