High Court rejects MP Michael’s challenge to his suspension, saying it has no jurisdiction in Parliament’s internal matters

St. Peter MP Asot Michael’s hopes of an early return to duty in the
Parliament have been dashed by the High Court, which has rejected
his challenge to his suspension from the Lower House.
The Court’s decision was handed down on Wednesday, August 23.
Constitutionally, there are three arms of government – the
Legislature (Parliament); the Judiciary (the courts); and the
Executive (the Cabinet) – designed to ensure the separation of

Accordingly, reports say the presiding judge ruled that the Court
has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal proceedings of the
Legislature, which is a separate and co-equal branch of government.

Further, MP Michael had asked that the Court order his suspension
from the House be lifted; but his application for an injunction in that
regard was also rejected.

Michael was suspended during the May 18, 2023, sitting of the
House of Representatives for disrespecting the Speaker. This took
place after he was ordered to vacate the Chamber for disobeying the
Speaker’s directive to the House not to engage in cross talk. 
The suspension is for three consecutive sittings. 
The St. Peter MP subsequently challenged the Speaker’s decision to
eject and then suspend him by filing a constitutional motion,
claiming that the actions breached several of his constitutional
In response, House Speaker Sir Gerald Watt – through his attorney,
Dr. David Dorsett – filed a counter motion to have the matter thrown
out. But the matter was heard in early July, with a decision expected
by July 25. However, the High Court judge’s caseload reportedly
was packed and the decision was delayed.
In the interim, though, Michael had sought to participate in the last
sitting of the House, which met on July 27. His attorney had written
to the Speaker requesting that he be allowed to take part in the
proceedings until the Court handed down its decision.

However, Watt was having none of it, and rejected the MP’s request,
saying that Michael should have known better than to make such an

While the Speaker has been accused of overstepping his authority
by moving the motion, himself, to have Michael suspended, he

continued to claim that the suspension had been effected not by him,
but by the House.

Consequently, Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle stood on a point of
elucidation and asked Watt which member, exactly, had moved the
Motion to have MP Michael suspended. 

But Watt refused to entertain the question, saying the Speaker’s
announcements do not require any such explanation, according to
the Standing Orders. 
With one sitting of the House already held since the suspension of
the St. Peter MP, there remain two more that he cannot attend.

Meanwhile, some people are asking how this injustice to Michael
will be addressed, since the rules related to his suspension clearly
were not followed and the High Court has taken a hands-off
Some are suggesting that the over 2,000 persons who voted for
Michael should stand up for him and protest the decision, since he is
in Parliament to do their work.

His constituents should do so, they add, given that the members for
St. John’s City West and City South – Prime Minister Gaston Browne
and Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin – also were
engaged in the cross talk, but without any consequences.