UKPC 29
Privy Council Appeal No 0025 of 2011
Harinath Ramoutar (Appellant) v (1) Commissioner of Prisons (2) Public Service Commission (Respondents)
From the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Sir Stephen Sedley
JUDGMENT DELIVERED BY
16 August 2012
Heard on 27 June 2012
Sir Fenton Ramsahoye SC
(Instructed by Bankside Commercial Solicitors)
Peter Knox QC
(Instructed by Charles Russell LLP)
"In view of the fact that you do not possess this imperative prerequisite, it renders you unsuitable for favourable consideration. Hence, in accordance with 168(3) of [the Regulations] you are advised that you will not be considered at this time to perform in the post of Chief Prisons Welfare Officer."
"18. (1) In considering the eligibility of officers for promotion, the Commission shall take into account the seniority, experience, educational qualifications, merit and ability, together with relative efficiency of such officers, and in the event of an equality of efficiency of two or more officers, shall give consideration to the relative seniority of the officers available for promotion to the vacancy.
(2) The Commission, in considering the eligibility of officers under subregulation (1) for an appointment on promotion, shall attach greater weight to-
(a) seniority, where promotion is to an office that involves work of a routine nature, or
(b) merit and ability, where promotion is to an office that involves work of progressively greater and higher responsibility and initiative than is required for an office specified in paragraph (a)."
Regulation 18(3) then lists a number of matters to be taken into account in arriving at these assessments. Regulation 18(4) then provides:
"(4) In addition to the requirements prescribed in subregulatons (1), (2) and (3), the Commission shall consider any specifications that may be required from time to time for appointment to the particular office."
"172. (1) In considering the eligibility of prison officers for promotion, the Commission shall take into account the seniority, experience, educational qualifications, merit and ability, together with the relative efficiency of such prison officers and, in the event of an equality of efficiency of two or more prison officers, shall give consideration to the relative seniority of the prison officers available for promotion to the vacancy."
There follows in Regulation 172(2) a list of matters to be taken into account which is somewhat similar to that in Regulation 18(3). There is no equivalent of Regulation 18(2) or 18(4).
"26. (1) Where an acting appointment falls to be made otherwise than as a prelude to a substantive appointment, the officer appointed shall –
(a) as a general rule be the senior officer in the Ministry or Department eligible for such acting appointment;
(b) assume and discharge the duties and responsibilities of the office to which he is appointed to act.
(2) In submitting any recommendations for an acting appointment, the Commission shall examine whether the exigencies of the particular service would best be served by transferring an officer from another district next in line of seniority to act when there is an officer in the same district who is capable of performing the duties of the higher grade, and in such examination the question of additional Government expenditure for travelling and subsistence allowances and other expenditure shall be borne in mind."
The present issue turns of the meaning of this Regulation.