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Matthie has to pay for legal challenge

The chairman of the The Bermuda Parent Teacher Student Association has been told he will have to pay the majority of the costs for his legal challenge against reforms and practices implemented by the Ministry of Education.

Harry Matthie, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the The Bermuda Parent Teacher Student Association, objected to how teacher transfers were conducted in the public school system as well as the enactment of new Parent Council Rules on the basis that parents were not properly consulted.

Mr Matthie also sought to quash the decision by Wayne Scott, the Minister of Education, to appoint the School Reorganisation Advisory Committee to recommend which schools should be consolidated or closed on the same grounds.

But in June Justice Stephen Hellman dismissed Mr Matthie's applications for judicial review on the issue of transfers and the establishment of Parent Council Rules.

However, Mr Justice Hellman ruled that prior to new legislation introduced in March 2015, the Education Commissioner should have consulted with the PTA of a school before a decision to transfer a teacher or principal was made.

He also left the door open for the BPTSA to restore their legal challenge to the appointment of the Score committee after Mr Scott had published his final decision on school reorganisation.

Last week, the parties returned to the Supreme Court for Mr Justice Hellman's ruling on costs.

“I find no reason to depart from the principle that costs follow the event,” the Supreme Court Justice said. “Although there are two respondents, they both represent the same department and are both represented by the same counsel, so there is only one set of costs.

“Mr Matthie will pay the respondents' costs of the interim hearing and two-thirds of their costs of the substantive hearing.

“He will pay the respondents' costs of any directions hearings in full in so far as the hearings related to the interim hearing and on a two-thirds basis insofar as they related to the substantive hearing.”

Harry Matthie

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Published November 24, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated November 24, 2016 at 7:25 am)

Matthie has to pay for legal challenge

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