RCI St. Lucia
posted on March 22, 2016 22:08
The Government of Saint Lucia has welcomed the judgment from the United Kingdom Court of Appeal today, which it says is a clear endorsement of Saint Lucia’s position on the Juffali case.
The Government has consistently maintained, throughout these proceedings, that to have waived Dr. Juffali’s diplomatic immunity for the purposes of a divorce case would undoubtedly have created a dangerous precedent that could compromise current and future Saint Lucian diplomats in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The Government’s view, which was based on international law and clear diplomatic precedent, has been forcefully reiterated by the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, and upheld in today’s definitive judgement by the Court of Appeal.
Jufali’s claim of diplomatic immunity which was used to avoid his former wife’s claim for maintenance, was branded as “spurious” and struck down by the high court.
but in an unusual step, which demonstrates the serious flaws and dangerous ramifications of the High Court judgement earlier this year, the UK Foreign Office submitted an opinion from a British QC, saying the judge had made a mistake in attempting to scrutinise Dr. Juffali’s diplomatic status. The Foreign Secretary added unequivocally that the High Court’s earlier ruling “should not be upheld or endorsed.”
Today’s Court of Appeal judgment acknowledges that Juffali’s accreditation as a diplomat was without a doubt legitimate.
The Government of Saint Lucia considers this a conclusive finding on the matter. While today’s judgment found Dr. Juffali to be a permanent resident of the UK, enabling his ex-wife to progress with her claim, it made clear that there was no question of his diplomatic appointment.