Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) Rodje Malcolm is welcoming the Privy Court’s ruling in favour of the human rights lobby in challenging the promotion of Superintendent Delroy Hewitt to the rank of Senior Superintendent.
In its ruling handed down today, the Privy Council notes that Mr. Hewitt has since retired, so quashing the decision to promote him is now purely an academic exercise.
Mr. Malcolm says the ruling sets the precedent for other such promotions in the police force.
The investigation concerned allegations by JFJ in 2013, that Hewitt had violated the rights of citizens.
In today’s ruling, the Privy Council says while the Police Services Commission, PSC has no statutory duty to obtain information from Indecom, a proper discharge of their functions does require them to do so. It says the PSC knew that serious allegations had been made against Superintendent Hewitt, and that no independent investigation had taken place. It adds that the PSC had the power to ask INDECOM to investigate, and such an investigation might reveal a different picture from the brief information with which the PSC had been provided.
It says the PSC would still have the final decision, but there was a reasonable prospect that a properly informed PSC might have made a different decision. The case was heard on January 30.
Queen’s Counsel Hugh Southey and Phillip Dayle appeared before the law lords of the Privy Council on behalf of the JFJ.
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte made arguments on behalf of the PSC. The former Police Officer has denied wrongdoing.